Magazine article The Spectator

Enough Gassing

Magazine article The Spectator

Enough Gassing

Article excerpt

Sir: Neil Barnett rightly highlights ('We don't need this annual outburst of pipeline politics', 7 February) that the Kremlin wants Western Europe to be dependent on Russian gas. However, it needs to be pointed out that Britain, in particular, has actually exacerbated its own overdependence on the use of gas to generate electricity over the last 12 years.

Since 1997 the government has approved over 30GW of gas-fired power stations (CCGTs). It has not approved any other kind of base-load power plant such as coal or nuclear. At present 90 per cent of all ongoing and proposed power station construction in the UK is to be gas-fired. Only last week the government approved two new large gas-fired plants at Pembroke and King's Lynn. These government policies have made us more, not less, dependent on gas imports in the medium to long term. …

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