Need to stop blackouts '˜could put up energy bills by £30

Energy bills may have to increase by £30 a year in order to ward off winter blackouts as Britain faces a power crisis, it has been claimed.

A report called Electric Shock: Will The Christmas Lights Go Out Next Winter? has been published by the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) of MPs, chaired by Grant Shapps.

It claims that government targets for closing coal power stations and expanding renewable sources to hit climate change goals have rapidly reduced the UK’s generating output.

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This, it says, has allowed prices to shoot upwards and has in addition slashed capacity margins which are “so tight that National Grid’s emergency power deals have become the norm”.

Mr Shapps said the report focuses on the “dangerously small electricity capacity margins” that have been “left in the wake of a decade of target-led, interventionist energy policy”.

“While nobody questions the noble intentions behind these interventions, it is clear that a perfect coincidence of numerous policies designed to reduce Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions has had the unintended effect of hollowing out the reliability of the electricity generating sector,” he added.