Image Copyright Roger Kidd under CC
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, 12 March 2015
The Government has managed to “keep the lights on”, but buying in extra ‘safety net’ capacity at short notice has brought costs for the taxpayer and the environment, concludes a Lords report out today.
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee declares that the Government should not be congratulated on keeping the lights on. Its report, entitled ‘The Resilience of the Electricity System’, says it is not acceptable for an advanced economy, hugely dependent on electricity, to sail so close to the wind. It found that we have been forced to generate extra capacity in the system, using expensive measures with heavy reliance on fossil fuel generation. The report urges the Government to improve its long-term planning to avoid squeezing the capacity margin like this.
During its inquiry, the Committee also heard that demand for electricity has declined substantially since the economic crisis began. If demand had continued to grow, the situation could have been much worse.
The report also warns that the electricity system’s increasing dependence on ICT will heighten the cyber threat.
Reports and committee evidence on-line for download.
And it will bounce off, as-if the media will pick this up, moreover just before a general election. Teeth are needed.
The reality is that as time passes standards are eaten away, people get sloppy until one day the anatomy of an “accident” comes to pass, not rocket science but endemic throughout life. There is a massive incident which resets the due diligence and then the slide starts again.
The report also, unfortunately, buys into much of the twaddle over false fixes. We need good old fashioned brutal and big.
Post by Tim