A new study has revealed that the UK could be heading for energy supply issues in around a decades time with the demand outstripping supply by 40% and the real possibility of blackouts.

Government policy

The report that has been issued by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers places the blame on current government policy and says that it will be almost impossible to meet future demand unless changes are made. The policies that have come under fire include the stopping of coal fired power generation by 2025 and the phasing out of nuclear reactors without plans to build new ones.

The Institute say that around 30 new gas-fired power stations will be needed to meet the deficit, but these are not planned. This is also not helped by reductions in measures to encourage energy efficiency such as the Energy Company Obligation and other subsidies that have restricted growth in this area. The government has also said it will not be exploring carbon capture and storage which could have extended the life of coal fired plants.

Less electricity

Jennifer Baxter, the co-author of the report has stated that the UK is facing an electricity crisis and that despite increases in population, the UK looks like it will be producing less electricity than currently in future years.

The Institute recommends more emphasis on shale gas and possible gas connections with other European countries. Reduction in demand for electricity within industry would also help.