UK facing 'energy crunch', experts warn

The UK could suffer an energy crisis similar to the current financial crash if energy infrastructure is left to develop in response to market forces, independent experts have warned.

The UK and other European countries could switch to totally renewable forms of generating electricity, the group believes

The UK and other European countries could switch to totally renewable forms of generating electricity, the group believes

The Claverton Energy Research Group warned at its conference at the weekend that current world governments' energy policies are inadequate to meet growing global energy demands.

Declining North Sea gas and oil outputs and unsecure gas supplies put the UK particularly at risk, the group added.

It predicts that the country could suffer energy shortages as early as 2015 if action is not taken now to secure energy supplies.

They believe an entirely renewable electricity supply for Europe is not only possible, but affordable.

Claverton spokesperson Dave Andrews said: "We have seen recently what a lightly regulated market without proper, well thought-out policies has done for banking and finance and our evidence indicates the UK energy supply infrastructure, if left to regulate itself, is heading towards a similar crunch."

He cited Denmark is an example of a country where experts teamed up with government to create a highly efficient way of using the heat generated from making electricity to heat homes and buildings.

Mr Andrews was the author of the 1983 book IRG Solution, which predicted the burgeoning fuel crisis and detailed a method for a coordinated effort from experts to prevent the problem.

He added: "A concerted start must be made now on understanding the issues and developing clear policies, and taking timely action."

More than 250 international energy and financial experts were expected to attend the conference, in Bath, to discuss how the UK, Europe and other continents could run on renewable electricity for a similar price to that currently paid for fossil fuel-based electricity.

Kate Martin

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