Alistair Buchanan, the outgoing chief executive of Ofgem, sparked anger at the long-term failure of energy policy by warning in The Daily Telegraph that supplies were “uncomfortably tight.”
British energy supplies were on a “roller-coaster” heading “downhill fast”, he said.
Speaking to reporters ahead of an industry speech last night, Mr Buchanan forecast a “near-crisis” between 2015 and 2018, as Britain has to replace its old coal stations with new forms of electricity supply. Power stations that currently produce 10pc of British energy are due to be closed next month.
“No new nuclear, no new clean coal, no new carbon capture this side of 2020,” he said. “So we’ll lean on gas and gas will account for about 60pc of our power station needs instead of 30pc as it does today. And in order to get hold of that gas we’re going to have to go shopping around the world. And just at the time that we’re tight on power stations, the world is going to go tight on energy gas prices. So you’ve got a double squeeze.”
Mr Buchanan, who steps down in June after 10 years in the post, said Britain faced an “horrendous” and imminent shortage of supply.