UK energy policy is in danger of crumbling, with delays and doubts over its nuclear plans and now a financial crisis facing its gas power plans, as the Daily Telegraph reports.
The UK Government’s plans to keep the lights on have suffered a fresh setback after it emerged the only new large gas power station due to be built in coming years is now in doubt.
Energy firm Carlton Power was awarded a subsidy contract by the Department of Energy and Climate Change last year to build a new 1.9 gigawatt plant at Trafford in Greater Manchester – big enough to supply power to 2.2 million homes.The £800 million plant was due to start generating in October 2018, but Carlton Power told the Telegraph it could no longer meet that date – and had so far failed to secure financial backers for the project to go ahead at all.
Mike Benson, Carlton Power’s business development director, said securing investment had proved “more difficult than we would have hoped” due to a combination of long-term policy decisions that had skewed the market, and uncertainty caused by recent cuts to wind and solar subsidies. The Trafford plant had been supposed to begin construction this summer after getting a subsidy contract through the Government’s ‘capacity market’.
The Telegraph also notes that…’Industry experts have been questioning for some time whether the Trafford plant would be commercially viable with the level of subsidy it agreed in the capacity market.’