This week is showing us how on the edge we are with our energy situation.
For a snap shot over our gas supply look at the margins notice report we are down to less than ten percent of our gas storage currently. Tis last happened in March 2010 and it is said that if our weather doesn't warm up quickly we will run out of stored gas and some sort of rationing (probably to big businesses) will have to take place.
The situation is being exacerbated by EU legislation which requires the closure of 'dirty power stations' by 2015. This march two coal powered stations are closing/have been closed and another power stationclosed a few months ago, all earlier than required because they are said to be no longer economically viable.
We've had problems on our gas rigs this winter, with several having to be shut for a month due to safety concerns, which perhaps has helped lead to our current immediate difficulty. info here
The Sellafield reprocessing unit had to shut this week due to bad weather conditions. Although this doesn't directly affect power generation, it does highlight the vulnerability of any industry to weather.
All forms of power generation have their drawbacks, whether its the safety side of nuclear, the questionable power payback of wind farms, the lack of full understanding of the impacts of fracking. So what is the solution going to be?
I reluctantly feel I agree with you Doctrine, I can't see any other solution that provides the energy we need, but the consequences when it goes wrong are so catastrophic, that if I were in charge I wouldn't be able to bring myself to sign the papers.