It is estimated that the UK will have lost around one-quarter of its baseload electricity generating capacity by 2020 through the closure of aging nuclear and fossil-fuelled power stations. The question of how to replace this lost capacity is complicated by having to meet both climate change and energy security objectives. The aim of this article is to examine the effectiveness of current UK
energy policy in addressing this potential ‘energy gap’. A detailed review of secondary sources identified a number of key themes that suggested a gap in electricity generating capacity is unlikely because of the negative social, economic and political consequences. Importantly, the government cannot decide the future of the electricity sector alone; instead, change must be negotiated between multiple stakeholders with different agendas and interests in order to maintain democratic legitimacy.
The discussion concludes by suggesting the reason the government is struggling to formulate a coherent electricity policy is due to the fact it is as much a socio-political task, as a technical and economic challenge.
Keywords: Electricity, Energy Policy, Energy Gap, Nuclear Power, Fossil-fuelled Power, Climate Change, Renewables.
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