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Ed Davey declares that UK winter fuel supply is secure

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Ed Davey, Energy Secretary

Despite a string of planned outages, the UK winter energy has been declared secure by the energy secretary Ed Davey.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, Ed Davey said that the outages at EDF Energy’s Heysham-1 and Hartlepool nuclear power plants, along with the loss of generating capacity at SSE’s fire-damaged Ferrybridge coal-fired plant, will not lead to power shortages.

Davey told MPs: “We have taken a number of measures to ensure the security of the UK’s energy supply, including introducing new electricity system balancing measures.

He added: “The impact that that will have on our margins over the winter has already been taken account of in National Grid’s analysis and procurement plans.”

At the beginning of August the four nuclear units were taken offline due to safety concerns over the boiler design.

SSE, owner of the Ferrybridge power station, said it expects one of the units to return to service by November at the earliest while the unit most badly affected is only expected to return in March next year.

Davey said that plans to allow interconnectors to bid into the capacity market from 2015 “have been well received in Oslo by the Norwegian authorities”.

However, the energy secretary was less confident about the proposed IceLink interconnector between the UK and Iceland, which would supply geothermal energy through it.

He said: “We are waiting to hear from the Icelandic authorities on how they want to take that project forward.”

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