Letters: Britain must accept the need for fossil fuels until other options are viable

  • Oct 14, 2021
  • The Telegraph

SIR – Among the solutions being proposed to the energy crisis are fracking, nuclear power and tidal energy. None of these can be delivered within a useful time frame.

The issue at hand is a global shortage of gas, which is likely to be resolved in the middle of next year. We also have an electricity system that is too reliant on wind. Our nuclear power stations are ageing and increasingly unreliable.

Gas prices are driving electricity prices up, but so are these vulnerabilities. To address this, the Government needs to get the mothballed Calon Energy gas power stations back up and running and expand the use of our remaining coal power stations. The price cap should be abolished to prevent further chaos in the supply segment, while green levies should be moved from energy bills to general taxation, which would benefit those on low incomes who typically do not pay income tax. VAT relief over the winter is another option.

The alternative is ending the winter with just a handful of large suppliers, and the main objective of privatisation would have failed.

SIR – Power companies have a responsibility to put shareholders first.

As someone who worked in the electricity-generation industry for nearly 40 years, I saw the current situation arising after the demise of the Central Electricity Generating Board. There has been no strategy to replace the closed-down coal plants or the elderly nuclear or gas plants. Unfortunately, neither wind nor sunlight are always available.

The electricity and gas industries should be renationalised immediately, and a proper energy plan put in place.

SIR – How does Jeremy Hunt have 
the brass neck to lead the criticism of the Government over its handling of the Covid-18 pandemic (report, October 12)?

He was the health secretary who pigeonholed the results of Operation Cygnus, the trial run on whether the NHS could deal with such an event.