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Warning adds new urgency to fear of electricity running out

Will Britain succeed in keeping the lights on in the coming years? Not without a cost. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The warnings from the energy regulator about the risk of the lights going out are not new, but the sense of urgency is.

On a typical day like today, 40 percent of our electricity is being provided by coal power stations that are due to be closed down in the next few years. That process has now begun.

Many different plans to fill that huge gap are in place. They are complex and they are fraught as we have discussed here before. And they will only plug the hole in the long term, leaving a big gap in the next few years.

Alistair Buchanan, the boss of Ofgem, today warns that the inevitable consequence is a rising reliance on sometimes risky gas imports, and even more price rises on our already expensive bills.

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