“Gas Generation Strategy” IET evidence to Energy and Climate Change Select Committee
The IET believes that the energy system needs to be considered as a whole when developing policy if we are to deliver a secure, decarbonised and affordable outcome. Gas fired electricity generation produces large amounts of low grade heat suitable for space heating as a by-product, and can also be configured to provide high grade heat for industry if required. Therefore it is imperative that there is a link between the Government’s gas strategy for power generation and the heat strategy to be announced in March 2013.
We see roles for gas-fired power generation in the short term to fill the gap created by coal, oil and older nuclear plant being closed down; in the medium term as back up to renewables; and in the long term if carbon capture and storage can be developed. However there is much uncertainty, mostly around whether policies to encourage new nuclear and further renewables achieve their desired outcomes or not. The extent to which new gas plant are built will depend substantially on how the market sees this uncertainty playing out, as well as whether the detail of electricity market reform (EMR) provides sufficient incentives to invest.
The global availability of gas has improved greatly in recent years, largely because of the US development of its shale gas resource, but pipeline and/or liquefaction infrastructure to allow it to be freely transported from its source to the UK is lacking. While US gas prices are very low, gas is much more expensive in Europe and the strategic implications for the UK of heavy reliance on imported gas should still be given appropriate consideration.
The IET presented oral evidence to the Select Committee on 13 February.
Submission Details Submitted on 28 February 2013 to Energy and Climate Change Select Committee