UK Risks Blackouts Without Incentives for Natural Gas

From Bloomberg

By Alex Morales

The U.K. risks blackouts this decade unless it gives industry details soon about the capacity auctions intended to spur the development of new gas-fired power plants, the executives at Spain’s biggest utility said.

The U.K. is “unlikely to see any significant investment” in combined-cycle gas turbines, or CCGTs, until it provides more details on how the capacity market will work, Keith Anderson, who heads Iberdrola SA’s activities in Britain, told reporters in London today.

The comments add to pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron’s government to advance work on a new energy law being debated in Parliament. The rules would pay power generators for back-up supplies usable when clean-energy generation falls short of demand.

“If the decision is not taken in a hurry, the decisions of investment will be delayed, and if the decisions of investments are delayed, the country can suffer blackouts during the decade,” Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galan said at the briefing. “That is particularly shocking. We require numbers.”

Galan follows the former U.K. government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, in warning the country faces power outages unless the government hastens change to the energy industry.

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