22 July 2011
The Government’s proposed electricity market reforms represent the most ambitious engineering challenge that the UK has ever faced, according to Europe’s largest group of professional engineers.
However, the government’s plans lack the necessary expert advice and support.
Last week the government revealed its White Paper to overhaul the electricity market and infrastructure, costing the tax payer over £100 billion. The aim is to create an electricity market that is secure, low carbon and affordable.
New power stations, a new ‘smart grid’, new carbon capture and storage systems plus other elements, combine to make this the most ambitious engineering project this county has ever seen. Disappointingly, a careful reading of the White Paper shows no references to ‘engineer’ or ‘engineering’.
Professor Roger Kemp from the Institution of Engineering and Technology said: “If the programme is to have any chance of success, the government must recognise it for what it is – an engineering programme that has to take into account engineering realities.”
To ensure this programme is a success, it is very important that DECC and other Departments seek engineering advice at an early stage in the process.
A lack of consultation with engineers presents a significant risk as budgets and timescales could change detrimentally when those responsible for delivery begin planning the necessary implementation programme.