Skip to content

Taking Back Control: Addressing Britain’s Energy Crisis

John Constable and Andrew Montford

Renewables have been ‘a catastrophic error’


  • The UK energy system is dysfunctional and on the verge of collapse.
  • Further expansion of renewables will make our gas dependency worse; only gas can now support renewables.
  • There is no alternative to improving the efficiency of our gas-fired fleet, and diversifying the sources from which we obtain natural gas.
  • Radical action is required to stabilise the system and bring down consumer prices.
  • Renewables must be put on the same footing as other generators, with no subsidies and no preferential dispatch, and eventually wound down.
  • A long-term gas-to-nuclear strategy is wise, but because of the perilous state of Britain’s electricity grid, the use of ultra-supercritical coal may be necessary to keep the lights on should nuclear fall behind on its timetable.

London, 27 March — Two energy experts from Net Zero Watch have put forward a radical programme to overhaul the UK’s energy system.

According to Dr John Constable and Andrew Montford, the authors of the plan, consumer prices can only be reduced by lowering the cost of gas and increasing the efficiency of gas-fired power stations. Increasing use of renewables will undoubtedly raise prices further.

The plan therefore aims to wind down renewables completely, and put the country back on the gas-to-nuclear trajectory that had delivered both lower prices and lower emissions for many decades before environmentalist pressure shifted the focus to wind and solar.

According to the authors, bill reductions of as much as £400 per household could be delivered relatively quickly, with a similar reduction in the general cost of living.

The plan also addresses energy security concerns, recommending diversification of the natural gas supply to include fracking, and the introduction of high-efficiency “ultra-supercritical” coal-fired power stations.

Dr John Constable said:

The renewables drive has left the grid in a parlous state, and the more wind and solar we put on the grid the worse it will become”.

Andrew Montford said:

Gas-fired power stations set market prices, so making them lower cost is the only way to get consumer bills down. That means running them more efficiently.”

Dr John Constable said:

Reintroducing coal is almost certainly going to be necessary. That such a radical step is even considered necessary shows just how bad our existing energy policies have made things. Renewables have been a catastrophic error.”

Craig Mackinlay MP said:

Britain’s energy policy is clearly in a perilous state, and we need some bold solutions to get back on track. Affordability and reliability must be paramount. A gas-to-nuclear transition looks to me at present like our best shot to get our emissions down affordably.”

Taking Back Control: Addressing Britain’s Energy Crisis can be downloaded here (pdf)