UK energy supply on a ‘downward trend’

The UK energy supply ranks fourth in the world, but analysts have put the UK on a 'negative watch list' thanks to some concerning trends in the energy infrastructure.


The rating comes from a World Energy Council report, which assesses countries based on how they manage the energy “trilemma” of security, affordability and environmental sustainability.

“The UK remains a pack leader and continues to balance the energy trilemma well,” said the report.

“The environmental sustainability dimension sees improvement in absolute performance on CO2 emissions from electricity generation as well.

Energy flaws

However the UK garnered criticism for relying on fossil fuels for 71% of its energy mix, which also stressed energy prices.

“Performance in energy equity suffers this year, as electricity and gasoline become more expensive,” said the report. “Contextually, indicators of political and societal strength stay robust but are at risk without further effort.”

One of the political risks identified by the report is short-termism. For example a 2013 Ed Miliband pledge to freeze energy prices for 20 months, wiped almost £1bn off the value of energy firm Centrica within 24 hours.

The British Chambers of Commerce warned at the time that the proposed freeze would damage the long-term attractiveness of energy investment.

Security

UK energy security is also trending downwards, as vital coal-powered plants face closure thanks to EU targets.

“Constraints in domestic supply have been further aggravated by a number of unscheduled incidents in 2014, which have caused the closure of three power supply plants and four nuclear reactors,” said the report.

Globally, the report called for investment of $48trn over the next twenty years to secure the international energy infrastructure.

Brad Allen

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