Claire Coutinho to Advocate for New Gas Power Plants to Prevent Blackouts


The UK’s Energy Security Secretary, Claire Coutinho, is set to warn that the country could face blackouts unless new gas-fired power stations are built. These stations would replace older ones that are nearing retirement. However, the government has stated that the CO2 produced by these new stations will not be captured, which could potentially violate the UK’s legal commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The government argues that these new gas power stations are necessary for ensuring energy security on days when renewable sources like wind and solar are not sufficient. The decision is part of a broader review of the UK’s energy market.

However, critics, including the Green Alliance think tank, argue that this decision contradicts the government’s promise to achieve zero-carbon electricity by 2035. The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit has also warned that the UK’s reliance on foreign gas will increase as North Sea output declines.

The Labour party has accused the Tories of leading the UK towards another decade of high energy bills, but agrees that retiring gas-fired stations need to be replaced. The Liberal Democrats have also criticized the decision, arguing that it represents a step backwards in the journey towards net zero emissions.

The government has not yet provided details about when or where the new power stations will be built. It has stated that these plants will ensure energy security, lower future electricity prices, and reduce dependence on foreign dictators like Putin. The government also plans to change the law to ensure that these new plants can be retrofitted to burn hydrogen or be fitted with carbon capture and storage technologies in the future.

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