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Big six energy supplier warns of possible UK power shortages

SSE has warned that the current five year wait ahead of incentives to keep power plants on standby could result in outages

SSE, one of the UK’s big six energy providers has expressed its concerns over the government’s current energy strategy.

The Scottish supplier believes the current five year wait for incentives to keep open power plants which would otherwise be closed will delay key decisions and create uncertainty.  The company has complained that the strategy could cause power outages in the short term as suppliers may delay the construction of new plants.

‘Risk of imminent shortages’

The government has revealed a draft package of incentives for energy companies to keep certain power plants open. The plants are to be ‘mothballed’ and kept ready to resume service should the nation require more energy as a result of increasing demand and ageing power stations being retired.

The incentives will not be available for another five years, a timeframe which SSE says does “not address the risk of imminent shortages”.

More details needed to go green

The energy supplier also spoke out against the government’s plans to promote long term green energy investments, claiming the current proposals were too vague.

In a statement on the proposed measures, SSE said: “The level of detail underpinning the planned Contracts is not yet enough to allow SSE to determine whether the balance between risk and reward for investing in low carbon electricity generation in the future will be the right one.

“In line with its long-standing financial principles, SSE will maintain its rigorous approach to investment decision-making and so will only make decisions to invest on the basis of a clear and appropriate risk and reward balance.”

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