GMB has commented on the announcement that Rugeley Power Station is expected to close this summer.
Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer for Engineering Construction, stated: “Last month the Institution of Mechanical Engineers warned that the UK faces an electricity supply gap of up to 55% by 2025 because of the closure of coal and nuclear plants. It would now appear that coal, the cheapest form of energy generation in the UK, is being squeezed out of the market prematurely by either the suppliers wanting more profit or by Government insistence on these stations closing.”
“The Government and the suppliers should now stop this nonsense. They should think hard at the consequences of yet another generation hub like Rugeley closing three of its four units at a time when there is little or no building of any sustainable replacement capacity such as gas fired CCGTs. New nuclear has stalled and is at least 10 years away. Wind power could not sustain the needs for London let alone the UK and is reliant on the weather.”
“Lessons need to be learned from 4 November 2015 when National Grid had to invoke special measures to keep the lights on. This happened on what was not a very cold day and before nine power stations close in 2016. Government should call in National Grid to examine what is going to happen and it should not allow the closure of this power station until new capacity is on stream to keep the lights on,” added Whitehurst.
Edited from press release by Angharad Lock