InterGen News

November 1, 2017

The Hidden Wiring: How Electricity Imports Threaten Britain’s Energy Security

New report highlights UK government’s reliance on foreign supply

Is the UK relying too heavily on electricity imports? In a new report by Tony Lodge and Daniel Mahoney of the Centre for Policy Studies, the authors say that it is. As renewable energy gets cheaper, imports of electricity from Europe – and from all sources of generation, including coal – are increasing.

This, despite the fact that the cost of European electricity generation is expected to increase as both France and Germany reduce their reliance on nuclear power. Generating capacity also could be shut down on the Continent as EU policy on air pollution and climate change accelerates.

In 2012, forecasts of imports into the UK were for only 6 terrawatt hours to be supplied each year. Four years later, Britain’s imports rose to 21 terrawatt hours in 2016 and will rise to 77 terrawatt hours by 2025 – a fifth of the total supply.

InterGen is concerned at the current level of planned interconnection (planned 14GW installed interconnection capacity by 2023) and believes it is a threat to security of supply and does not guarantee a lower carbon alternative nor value to the consumer.

In light of Brexit, we encourage government to review interconnector’s participation in the capacity market and whether their current derating values reflect their delivery reliability.

For the full Centre for Policy Studies report, click here: http://www.cps.org.uk/publications/the-hidden-wiring/