Possible UK power shortages warns Ofgem

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Britain could face power shortages towards the middle of the decade, UK energy regulator Ofgem has stated, with spare electricity power production capacity falling as low as 2% by 2015. Ofgem said that the risk of blackouts that year has trebled from the one-in-12 it estimated in October to just one-in-four, if energy demand remains at current levels.

Ministers are trying to encourage companies to spend more than £100 billion on new green energy infrastructure by offering huge subsidies. However, the new power stations will not have arrived in time to avert the possible squeeze in 2015.

Ofgem says that no new gas-fired power plants are expected until 2016 and it expects the equivalent of just one to start generating before the end of the decade. (more…)

Largest blaze in West Midlands for years as recycling factory catches fire

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

According to BBC News, firefighters tackling a blaze on July 1 involving 100,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material at a factory unit in Smethwick say it is the largest fire seen in the West Midlands in recent years. Eyewitnesses said there were a number of large explosions and loud bangs before the fire took hold.

The fire service said 200 firefighters were at the scene in Smethwick, and three of them have been taken to hospital. An ambulance service spokesman said they had treated “nine patients for injuries received at the scene”. (more…)