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Energy firm warns that lights are 'going out'

The chief executive of energy supplier SSE, Ian Marchant, has said the government is underestimating the need to address the UK’s energy requirements.

His comments follow those made by Ofgem recently, warning of the UK’s dwindling power generating capacity as ageing power stations close down.

Mr Marchant told the BBC that “there is a very real risk of the lights going out” in Britain.

Referring to the previous Ofgem statement, SSE says its own plans to reduce power generation were not taken into account, which means the situation is more serious than previously stated.

The company’s power stations in Ferrybridge, Keadby, Slough Uskmouth and Peterhead are due to close in the next 12 months, with a loss of 2,000 MW of energy generation.

The situation could be addressed by the government, said Mr Marchant, by the taking of swift action to provide greater clarity on electricity market reforms and bringing forward capacity payments from 2018 to 2014 for existing plant.

Peterhead has been named as one of two preferred bidders in the government’s £1 billion carbon capture and storage development competition.

Ofgem chief executive Alastair Buchanan stated last month that he believes there will be no new carbon capture and storage developments before 2020.



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