Britain's huge electrical problem....
Governments have to think 20+ years into the future...does Ontario face the same problem???
Every day we hear that Britain is facing a 'fuel crisis'. The world oil price breaks records every week. The cost of petrol and gas soars. Foreign suppliers of gas and oil are holding Britain to ransom and charging exorbitant prices. The average family, we are told, faces fuel bills of £1,500 a year.
Yet all this pales into insignificance compared with the real energy crisis roaring down on Britain with the speed of a bullet train as, within six or seven years, we stand to lose 40 per cent of all our existing electricity-generating capacity.
Thanks to decades of neglect and wishful thinking by successive governments - and now the devastating impact of a directive from Brussels - we are about to see 17 of our major power stations forced to close, leaving us with a massive shortfall.
Even after 2010, the experts say our power stations cannot be guaranteed to provide us with a continuous supply, meaning that we face the possibility of power cuts far worse than those which recently - largely unreported - blacked out half-a-million homes.
By 2015, when the power stations which meet two-fifths of our current electricity needs have gone out of business, we could be facing the most serious disruption to our power supplies since the 'three-day week' of the 1970s.
But the impact of such power cuts on the Britain of today would be far more damaging than they were in the time of Edward Heath 35 years ago.
Compared with then, our dependence on continuous electricity supplies is infinitely greater - thanks, above all, to our reliance on computers.
We are no longer talking just about factories shutting down or lighting our homes with candles. Without computers, our entire economy would grind to a halt.
Scarcely an office, shop, bank or hospital in the land would be able to function. Our railway system would be immobilised. Road traffic would be in chaos as traffic lights ceased to operate and petrol stations closed down.
Yet this is the scale of the catastrophe which may be facing us, thanks to the failure of government to give Britain a proper energy policy.
Scaremongering? Just look at the hard facts. At the moment, to meet Britain's peak electricity demand, our power stations need to provide a minimum 56 gigawatts (GW) of capacity.
Ten gigawatts, nearly a fifth, comes from our ageing nuclear power stations, all but one of which are so old that over the next few years they will have reached the end of their useful working life.
On top of that, however, we shall also have to shut down nine more major power stations - six coal-fired, three oil-fired - forced to close by the crippling cost of complying with an EU anti-pollution law, the so- called Large Combustion Plants directive.
This will take out another 13GW of capacity, bringing the total shortfall to 22GW - a staggering 40 per cent of the 56GW we have today.