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Sense About The Energy Gap

A brief overview of the need for new energy generation capacity

There is a consensus that new power generation capacity is required in the UK between now and 2020, to fill the difference betweent the amount of energy generated and the amount that is used by consumers. However, there are several different issues surrounding the so-called 'energy gap'.

Some people are concerned that having to import natural gas leaves the UK vulnerable to a rogue state shutting off pipelines. They argue that the UK needs to fill the energy gap without need to import too much energy.

The UK Government is committed to reducing CO2 emissions substantially to 2050. As electricity generation is a major contributor to CO2 emissions, there is a need to gradually convert or replace existing fossil fuel powers stations with lower carbon alternatives.

The nature of electricity generation is changing as older plants come to the end of their useful life and need to be replaced. Coal-fired power stations are being replaced with a mixture of natural gas, renewable energy of various types and possibly nuclear power.

Renewable technologies are being developed and brought online, but the intermittent nature of the energy sources there are concerns that they will not be able to meet the energy demands.

Document type: Sense About

Published: 18 July 2005

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