Blackout Blitz: Power Prices Rocket As London Struggles to Keep the Lights On

The lamps went out across Europe in 1914, 1939 and now they’re going out, again. This time, thanks to a maniacal obsession with intermittent wind and solar.

Wishful thinking, combined with ideological zealotry has left Britain’s energy supplies in tatters. Germany is in the same boat, and for the same reasons.

A few months from now, with hundreds of thousands freezing in the dark – either victims of power rationing or victims of crushing power prices, that they can no longer afford – households and businesses will, no doubt, come to reflect on the source of their misery. And plenty of them will be looking for the villains responsible.

As Tony Lodge reports below, the targets of what will soon become a wave of public opprobrium are in full view. They might need to start thinking about an escape route, if the current mood in Britain is any guide.

We just paid Belgium 50 times the going rate to keep London’s lights on – how did it come to this?
The Telegraph
Tony Lodge
17 September 2022

Britain’s energy crisis is a national political humiliation. It is a direct result of a generation of cross-party policy failures and contradictions which have conspired to deliver a perfect storm.

Grave errors by a range of past energy ministers range from: Patricia Hewitt’s opposition to nuclear power in 2001; Ed Miliband’s refusal to back new clean coal plants in 2009; Chris Huhne renewing opposition to new nuclear in 2012; Ed Davey supporting wood pellet plants over new gas in 2013; Amber Rudd overseeing the end of carbon capture funding in 2015; Greg Clark allowing the closure of the Rough gas storage site in 2017 and Andrea Leadsom banning fracking in 2019, to name just a few.

This brief summary of just some of the failures and short-term policy-making mistakes of recent years ran in parallel with the conscious and consistent run-down of reliable UK electricity generation. Between 2000 and 2017 over a third of the UK’s firm baseload electricity generating capacity was closed to meet EU rules without any comparable net replacements.

Instead, ministers approved weather-dependent renewables and more interconnectors to import power from the Continent, thus offshoring British energy jobs, resilience and security. New nuclear is already twenty years late.

In order to provide a proper understanding and long-overdue analysis of this systemic policy failure, a judge-led public inquiry is needed in the national interest both to prevent recurrence and to identify the key mistakes on the part of politicians, regulators and senior civil servants.

Alongside a long list of former energy secretaries (17 since 1997), ex-premiers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson should also be called as they led governments which oversaw the running down of British energy security, diversity and resilience.

Exposing and scrutinising how we got here and the decisions taken – or not – over this period is vital as it represents one of the biggest national policy failings in the post-war era.

It has huge implications for the economy, households, industry and future competitiveness – as this winter will show.

News in July that the National Grid had to panic-buy staggeringly expensive Belgian electricity to avoid power cuts fundamentally illustrates Britain’s perilous energy supply. As power demand surged during the heatwaves, the National Grid paid £9,724 per megawatt hour, more than 5,000pc the typical price, to prevent London suffering blackouts.

Whilst backbenchers are told to keep citing Russia and Ukraine as the reason for this very avoidable energy crunch, the real story is much more damning, concerning and home-grown. Years of ministerial dithering alongside bad and conflicted planning by Whitehall and network managers have helped deliver the perfect storm of high electricity prices, tight supplies and insufficient power.

The writing was on the wall years ago following the Blair, Brown and Cameron government’s decision to slavishly follow EU diktat and start closing coal and oil-fired power stations without clear policies to build cleaner equivalent replacements; weather-dependent windmills and solar panels could never fill the gap. The EU’s various power station directives, first supported by the Blair government in 2001, forced the UK to start shutting key plants from 2012.

Consequently, ministers are now desperately trying to keep remaining 50-year-old coal power plants running, at huge cost, alongside the hope that they will be able to import more and more electricity from Europe, again at high cost. So how did it come to this? Only a full and proper public inquiry can help us find out, prevent recurrence and deliver better policies for the future.

The emergency bid to Belgium has importantly exposed Britain’s growing overdependence on imported power. This growth has huge implications for energy security, resilience, future bills and climate change. We must stop building interconnectors and instead prioritise reliable home grown generation.

A public inquiry into Britain’s energy crisis will serve to expose the dangerous and failed doctrine of draconian out-of-date targets and poor policy-making over a generation. The public deserves to know who is responsible for soaring bills and the mistakes which have led to a real risk of power rationing this winter and beyond.

A failed energy policy inflicts huge pain on households, industry and the wider economy. It diverts investment and stops job creation. We need to learn and understand how and why political leaders failed in this most critical area of policy in the national interest.
The Telegraph

Britain’s coal-fired plants – keeping London’s lights on.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Ah, now that’s what a field of dreams really looks like!

  2. Wind and solar is DISABLED energy. Expecting it to function like strong & robust energy is like forcing the military to enlist everyone to fight wars no matter their strength. It’s like expecting the person in the wheelchair to be as agile as the acrobat and when it’s obvious they can’t perform the task the politicians, in between counting all the money these pipelines to your cash provided them, lie and tell the public it’s not the disabled fault, it’s the fault of the bus that transports the disabled to the war zone or that the disabled person is not being treated well enough to perform the acrobatics, meaning they blame the wiring, the transmission lines, thus then pitch all that needs to be done is print more money to overhaul it all. What these governments are doing as puppets of their industrialist masters’ energy scams is like forcing the disabled to do things they cannot do. It does not matter how much you build up the transmission of the Panzer Tank for getting around in war games, if the engine is “powered” by a clean energy sail instead of a power house of an internal combustion engine using fossil fuel you might as well invest in white flags so they can both power the tank to nowhere and be used to wave in surrender. Wind and solar is DISABLED energy, call it what it is, these systems are suffering from Green Renewable Electric Energy Disability (GREED). They cannot function well. They are movie sets. They are props. They entertain. They pacify.

    • It is especially remarkable that knowing the notorious unreliability and unpredictability of UK weather – it is generally the primary topic in any conversation – our “elders and betters” have bet the farm on it.

      Quos deus vult perdere, prius dementat

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