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Electricity Generation

Volume 978: debated on Tuesday 12 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what estimates exist of future growth needs in electricity generation to satisfy the requirements of the United Kingdom.

Estimates of capacity requirements for England and Wales up to 1986 may be found in the Electricity Council's medium term development plan 1979–86.My Department has published projections of possible future requirements in the United Kingdom in "Energy Projections 1979".

asked the Secretary of State for Energy to what extent the present capacity of United Kingdom power stations satisfy present national needs; and what is the surplus of capacity.

In order to meet the demand for electricity, sufficient generating capacity has to be provided to allow for plant breakdowns and the effects of abnormally severe weather. The current declared net capability of the CEGB is 56·8 GW. Accordingly, the winter's maximum demand so far of 44·2 GW—14 January 1980—was met with a plant margin of approximately 28 per cent. The margin currently used in planning future generating capacity seven or eight years ahead is also 28 per cent.Generating capacities in Scotland and Northern Ireland are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and Northern Ireland.