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Owen Paterson Warns Of Long-Term Energy Crisis

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Shropshire Star

Shropshire MP and former Environment Minister Owen Paterson today reiterated his view that the lights will “definitely go out” in the future unless there is a sea change in Government policy.

Owen Paterson wants a series of small nuclear power stations created to meet domestic power demands

Mr Paterson refused to be drawn on reports of possible winter blackouts following several fires at power stations and the closure of others.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said contingency plans were in place and declared: “There will be no blackouts. Period.”

But the North Shropshire MP said problems lie ahead.

It comes after Didcot B, a gas-fired station in Oxfordshire which produces enough electricity to meet the needs of one million households, was reduced to half capacity after a blaze broke out in one of the two cooling tower modules at the site earlier this month.

There was also a fire at the power station in Ironbridge this year.

In a keynote speech issued last week, Mr Paterson called for the Climate Change Act 2008 to be repealed. It was introduced by the then energy secretary Ed Miliband, now the Labour leader, and mandated an 80 per cent cut overall in six greenhouse gases by 2050.

Mr Paterson said: “I have been very careful not to comment on the immediate short term, I only want to speak really about the long term.

“I gave a detailed commentary on the issue last week and I am not going to be commenting on detail about what might happen this winter. If we have a very, very cold January and no wind, the circumstances will be very different compared to if we have a mild January.

“My main concern is that unless we address the issue of legally binding targets imposed on the Secretary of State the lights will definitely go out in the future.

“The problems with nuclear power stations and the fire at Didcot, these are all real reminders of how vulnerable we are.”

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