Uncertainty over UK Government policy has resulted in Britain slipping down a global “energy trilemma” league table.

The rankings produced by the World Energy Council measure how well countries are facing the triple challenge of securing affordable lower carbon energy.
The UK’s ranking has been downgraded from AAA to AAB after the cost of energy rose when compared to other developed nations.

Britain also remains on a “negative watchlist” because the report’s authors do not believe that “the effects of ageing power plant infrastructure are not yet reflected in the data”.

‘Significant challenges’

The report warned that the UK faces “significant challenges” in securing its energy supply.

“Domestic production of fossil fuels has steadily declined, nuclear power plants are being run down, and many coal plants will be forced to close due to changes in European legislation,” the study found.

“Furthermore, ageing infrastructure and the tightening of reserve capacity margins, called for extraordinary measures by the national grid operator, including tenders, to ensure supply during the winter 2014-2015. The UK's energy security performance does not yet reflect these constraints and is expected to decrease in future rankings.

“Moreover, the unexpected removal of feed-in tariffs for wind and solar may hinder investments in these sectors, impacting the country's goal to further diversity of its energy supply and improve its environmental sustainability.”

DECC defends UK’s record

Joan MacNaughton, Executive Chairwoman of the World Energy Trilemma study, said: “If the UK is to remain ahead of the pack and regain its triple A rating, the Government must give more predictability to investors in the way the electricity market reforms are progressed.”

A spokesman for the Department of Energy & Climate Change defended the UK’s record.

He said: “We’ve made record investments in renewables and are committed to lower-carbon secure energy, such as nuclear and shale gas, which will help keep the lights on for future generations.”

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