The prospect of being in power when the lights go out
is a politician's worst nightmare - and one that outgoing chief of
energy company SSE, Ian Marchant, recently argued could come true
in the next few years. In a
BBC interview Marchant explains
his comments - and perspective on UK energy policy - in a bit more
Last month, Marchant said that the government has
underestimated the risks of a crunch in power supply over the next
few years - and there is a "
very real risk" of the lights going out
as a result.
It's not the only controversy the company is involved
in. SSE was recently fined
£10.5 million by energy regulator
Ofgem for misselling its deals to consumers. Despite a grovelling
apology on the SSE homepage, Marchant argues in the
interview that "
misunderstanding" is behind most of the
misselling. But what about the rest of Marchant's views?
A crunch in UK power supply
Both Marchant and the head of energy regulator Ofgem,
Alistair Buchanan, recently warned that the country could face
squeeze in its reserve power
supply as the older power stations close down.
At the moment the country had more power stations
than it needs to supply its demand for electricity, but that may
change soon. In fact, according to Marchant, the oversupply means
some plants are shutting down because "the generation that we've
got isn't making any money". In addition, old coal power
stations are now being closed as a result of
EU regulations aimed at reducing