Blair warned of 'energy gap'

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The Independent Online

With almost a quarter of the country's current electricity-generating capacity to be decommissioned by 2016, the Commons Environmental Audit Committee said that there was not time to wait for a new generation of nuclear reactors, which, if built, may not be generating at full capacity until 2030. The committee said that Britain could face the prospect of electricity black-outs within a decade unless there was urgent investment in new gas-fired power stations.

The committee chairman Tim Yeo urged ministers to return to the strategy laid out in the Energy White Paper of 2003 which focused on energy efficiency and renewables as the cornerstones of a sustainable energy policy. "The Government must be far more imaginative and radical in pursuing the twin goals of the Energy White Paper - energy efficiency and renewables," he said.

Greenpeace welcomed the committee's report as "significant and timely".

"Building more nuclear reactors and creating more nuclear waste is not only unsafe but also is no solution to climate change or energy security," said campaigner Sarah North.