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UK - weak power

The retirement of coal-fired power stations is tightening the UK's electricity supply-and the government doesn't seem to have a plan to cope

The UK is facing a looming power-sector capacity crunch. Demand isn't the problem: it's pretty stable. Supply is another matter: generation capacity is disappearing with no clear replacement being planned. National Grid, the country's power-transmission operator, reckons UK consumption will remain around 61 gigawatts a year until 2030. It may even fall, depending on whether low-cost power alternatives are preferred to environmentally friendly ones. But government and EU-wide policies to curb carbon emissions have resulted in a push to retire polluting coal-fired capacity, as well as inefficient and ageing gas-fired facilities. By 2025, coal will be out; and lots of nuclear capacity will be

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