Airs on Sunday 12 February at 9pm on Channel 4
Guy's Great British Power Trip sees the Lincolnshire lorry mechanic and motorcycle racer investigate the past, present and future of British energy, to work out how the country makes its power and why it costs so much. He’ll work hands on at every stage of the energy production process – from inside the boiler at the country’s biggest power station, to the top of the highest pylons, to the most advanced nuclear fusion lab in the world where he’ll conduct an experiment that will bring the world one step closer to unlimited, clean energy.
This first episode begins with Guy testing every piece of equipment in his own workshop to find out which items use the most electricity. Horrified by what he’s now having to pay for power, Guy tries to work out the reasons behind his big bills. He starts at his local power station – which also happens to be the country’s biggest. He works deep inside Drax in Yorkshire, operating its mills and boilers to see how the wood pellets it burns are actually turned into electricity – and finds out why that process is so controversial. Along the way on his energy adventure, Guy climbs to the top of a pylon to try his hand at being an electrical grid linesman, one of the riskiest maintenance jobs in the world, before then helping an explosives team demolish one of Britain’s oldest coal-burning power stations – moving the country closer to Net Zero emissions in the most spectacular way possible.
This second episode begins at the most important place in the entire National Grid – the central control room, where electricity is bought, sold and routed every single second of the day. Tasked with the challenging job of keeping the country’s lights on, Guy spends thousands of pounds in just a few minutes balancing the electricity supply and demand market. Guy’s attention then turns to the rise of renewable energy – first working with the army, who are pioneering a new solar-powered workshop, before embarking on the gruelling training required to become an off-shore wind farm technician. Once he’s proved he can escape from a helicopter that’s ditched in the sea, Guy flies out to Hornsea 2, the world’s biggest wind farm, to find out how a power station in the middle of the North Sea can possibly work.
In this final episode, Guy investigates the future of energy production. He travels to Orkney, braving harsh conditions to work on the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, and looks at how the Scottish islands are at the forefront of hydrogen research. Then he turns his attention to what part nuclear will play in generating our electricity. Guy joins the workforce at Europe’s biggest building site and helps construct the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, working out why reactors are so expensive and take 10 years to build. He then works inside Britain’s most toxic site – handling nuclear waste inside the Sellafield facility. Finally the series culminates with Guy joining the nuclear physicists at Culham in Oxford and controlling their £70m fusion machine – in a bid to find out if nuclear fusion really will make the energy crisis a thing of the past.
~ ENDS ~
For more information on this programme, please contact HGill@Channel4.co.uk