Half of Didcot power station will remain indefinitely out of action after a major fire broke out. The government says “the lights will not go out” but analysts voice electricity price fears.
The owners of the plant, RWE npower said that half of the massive plant that supplies a million homes will remain non-operational indefinitely and that the whole of the plant will not be operating at capacity for a number of weeks.
“It is too early to give any definitive estimate of how long this will be,” a company spokesperson said.
“Power stations come on and off the grid quite a lot and we’re very sustainable, we can carry on.”
The Department of Energy & Climate Change said that the fire will not cause blackouts over winter.
A spokesperson said: “The lights will not go out this winter. Up and down the country there are power stations on standby that can start pumping out power when needed and the Government has given National Grid the extra powers it needs to ensure there is enough electricity to keep the lights.”
Video: Didcot power station devastation seen on Monday as firefighters survey the scene
Energy analyst Peter Atherton, Liberum Capital, said that it could result in more expensive electricity and issues with supply.
“The loss of this plant would not normally be a cause for concern. But UK energy policy has managed to engineer historically low reserve margins as we head into winter.”
“Unfortunately, the UK has now seen three unexpected events before the clock change. Another one or two could cause a serious security of supply event, and a probable surge in wholesale prices.”