UK faces electric shock: Reliance on Europe for power could land Britain in big trouble
The fishing row which saw France threaten to cut off Jersey’s power has exposed the ‘very dangerous’ threat of being too reliant on a foreign supplier for electricity, an expert said yesterday.
Britain risks becoming an ‘import junkie’ by depending too heavily on the Continent for its electricity needs, it was claimed.
Tony Lodge, a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies think-tank, said the UK is setting itself up for ‘almighty trouble’ by the end of the decade.
He warned that Britain is offshoring its energy security and emissions to Europe, leaving it vulnerable if the Continent’s surplus of power is reduced.
The fishing row which saw France threaten to cut off Jersey’s power has exposed the ‘very dangerous’ threat of being too reliant on a foreign supplier for electricity, Tony Lodge, a research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies has claimed
On Tuesday French maritime minister Annick Girardin said Paris would cut off electricity to Jersey – which gets 95 per cent of its power supply from France – if the dispute was not resolved.
Mr Lodge yesterday said this had ‘inadvertently exposed’ the ‘very dangerous’ threat of being too reliant on a foreign supplier.
He said: ‘We have slowly offshored our ability to generate all of the electricity we need… We followed European Union diktat when we were in the EU to close a lot of coal and oil power stations early, and we haven’t replaced them at home.
‘What we have done is set up interconnectors – undersea cables import power when we need it from the EU.’ He warned: ‘We are going to become import junkies.’
Mr Lodge said when there are cold snaps or power station closures in Europe, electricity generation on the Continent could become tight.
‘The availability of surplus electricity in Europe is a key factor in spare flows and surplus flows that make it to the UK,’ he explained.
He urged the Government to build more power stations in Britain so it can generate electricity on demand.