Britain can’t count on France and Ireland to keep the lights on
Organized? Reliable? It doesn’t look like it. In truth, add it all up and the electricity supply seems precarious. Anyone could be forgiven for deciding that it would be wise to have a few boxes of candles in the closet in case the lights go out and a really powerful battery somewhere in case that is the only way to go. recharge your phone.
It remains to be seen whether the UK falls into a major energy crisis. We can barely make our way, as we so often do. But we could be just a supply shock, or a long cold snap, away from real problems. Any country can handle a power shortage with progressive blackouts and a shortening of the week for factories and schools.
They are part of everyday life in many countries. But it’s not really a club you want to join (the top four countries for blackouts, in case anyone is wondering, are Bangladesh, Albania, Lebanon, and Congo). If it doesn’t get there quickly, the UK could end up on the list.
There are two big problems disrupting the market. First, unreliable weather conditions are hitting the renewable energy sector. Then the domestic market is in shambles, with many different suppliers, each of which could disappear at any time. So how do you fix it? Here are three places we could start.
First, the UK needs more relief supplies. Much of our electricity now comes from wind farms. That may be fine in the medium term, but while the capacity is being built, we need to make sure that there are plenty of alternative sources of supply, and that they can be activated with the flick of a switch. This might be news for ministers, but the weather is, uh, changing, and always will be. We cannot be left at his mercy. If that means we have too much capacity and we’re paying for factories that sit idle most of the time, so be it.