A recent report by Fells Associates (a nuclear supporting organisation according to the BBC), declares that the UK will face prolonged power cuts in about five years unless urgent action is taken now.

The report was untitled "A Pragmatic Energy Policy for the UK", by Fell Associates who are a network of energy and regulatory specialists.

The report highlights two main reasons for this

1 - A 23 GW electrical generation capacity will be lost by 2020 as the UK’s ageing nuclear reactors will have to be decommissioned

2 - 12GW will be lost as a new EU directive requires the most polluting coal & oil fired power stations to close

The report also questions the effectiveness of the UK’s investment in renewable energy – highlighted by the fact that we are on course to miss our renewable energy target of 10% by 4% by 2010.

The report also questions the effectiveness of the governments nuclear plans, stating it will be too little too late and that there will be a serious shortfall in electrical generation between the decommissioning of existing nuclear reactors and the building of new ones.

Professor Fells (author of the report) suggests some of the following as options:

1. Keep existing coal fired power stations online (defying EU directives)

2. Keep nuclear power stations running past their “sell-by-date” (some would consider this very dangerous)

3. Laying power lines to Norway, Germany, Denmark and France to link us to the UK grid

None of the options outlined above represent a viable long term sustainable strategy. Is greater investment in renewables the answer? Should we move to more distributed generation – even going so far as to legislate or ease the existing restrictions on home generation?