Energy policy “chaotic”

30th August 2016 | Commercial Energy

Alexander Temerko, a Ukranian-born businessman, has labelled the UK’s energy policy “Chaotic”, and has urged Theresa May to appoint a panel of industry experts to help tackle the UK’s looming electricity supply shortage. Mr Temerko said investor confidence in the UK energy sector had been undermined by erratic and politicised decision-making by a succession of ministers with little industry experience.

A panel of energy ambassadors should be set up to provide expert advice and support more long-term thinking, he said. Civil servants lack real industrial know-how and the credibility to gain multi-billion pound investments needed to modernise the UK’s energy infrastructure.

He is planning to build a £1.1bn electricity interconnector between France and the UK and says the Prime Minister is right to put the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear power station plans on hold. He urged Mrs May to use the review of the £18bn project as the starting point for an appraisal of government strategy for maintaining electricity supplies, whilst phasing out coal-fired power. Mr Temerko is the main investor behind a proposed 150-mile 2,000 megawatt interconnector project called Aquind, which would add to existing UK power links with France, Holland and Ireland.

Interconnectors are becoming more important as wind and solar power production, which by its nature is intermittent, causes peaks and troughs in electricity generation. They can be used to import power from continental Europe when UK supplies are low, and reverse this and export when renewable power is strong. So far this year, the UK has relied on interconnectors for about 8 per cent of its electricity.

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