FOSSIL fuels look set to form part of the solution to a predicted energy crisis after plans were entered for a new power station that will help Uttoxeter avoid blackouts.
The move comes weeks after renewable energy company Bowler LLP, the energy experts behind an enormous solar project in Marchington Woodlands, described Uttoxeter’s electricity infrastructure as ‘unreliable’.
Andrew Price, part of the team behind the scheme to install photovoltaic panels across more than 1,000sq m of unspoilt countryside, made the warning when villagers complained about the scheme.
And, with the National Grid warning there may be blackouts as early as this winter, experts said a new proposed gas-fired power station in Meaford would further boost the line near Uttoxeter.
Mr Price said: “The electricity infrastructure in the Uttoxeter area isn’t the best as it’s the end of the line and has been unsuitable for some time.
“The cost of energy is going up rapidly - it’s risen by 66 per cent in 10 years.
“When, as is predicted by experts, the lights start flickering in 10 years’ time, renewable energy, such as that created from photovoltaic panels, will be a strong source of local electricity keeping levels topped up.”
Rupert Wood, of Meaford Energy Ltd (MEL), the firm in charge of the new project, said renewable and fossil fuels are both ‘vital’ for the future of Uttoxeter’s supply.
He said: “There is a need to build new efficient power stations that can work in conjunction with renewable wind farms and solar farms.”
MEL director Daniel Chapman said blackouts in Uttoxeter will be less likely if power stations are built nearby.
He said: “What this new power station will do is provide greater security of supply.
“National Grid are saying that the capacity for the country has just a five per cent margin between the supply and peak demand, when it’s previously been around 20 per cent.
“Our proposed power station won’t make any difference this winter, but it will help in future years.”
It is thought that, as soon as 2018, Britain may have to adopt the system used in South Africa, which involves turning off the country’s supply for certain periods of the day.