Uncertain future for British gas power despite current dominance

The head of RWE‘s UK unit says the fate of gas-fired power in the country is still uncertain despite it currently being the leading source of power generation in the country, with coal’s decline.

Gas power plant operators are awaiting next Tuesday’s government announcement on standby power contracts being awarded to gas generators, a key component to the survival of the facilities.
Tom Glover of RWE
Nuclear, renewables and energy imported from European markets could change British energy provision within two decades, according to Tom Glover, the UK chair of German energy group RWE.

Glover told the Guardian the outlook for new gas plants ” quicker and cheaper to build than atomic sites or offshore wind farms ” remained unclear.

“It’s uncertain, when you look across 15 years. You’ve got to look at how interconnectors [power cables to other countries], how new nuclear, renewables will develop. It’s very uncertain,” he said.

His caution comes despite the government confirming the phase-out of coal. Gas has cemented itself as the top source of electricity over the past two years as coal declined dramatically in the face of a carbon tax.

Despite coal phase-out, a recent forecast by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) revised the amount of new gas plants it expects to be built by 2035 to 6GW, down from the 14GW it predicted last year. In comparison, its forecast for new renewables, which it expects to generate more power than gas by 2020, remained largely the same.

Glover added that despite uncertainty, gas will remain a key component of power supplies, especially if electric cars reverse years of falling demand.

No posts to display