As Coal Plants Shut Down, United Kingdom Faces A Power Crunch

Retailing in the United Kingdom

But that would require retrofitting the plants to keep them from violating pollution regulations, a costly exercise. Still, Newbery said, “If [electricity] prices were high enough, there might be a willingness to clean up noncompliant plants.” Alternatively, Britain could put the plants back on line as they are and risk paying large EU fines. Another possibility, Durham’s Wilde said, would be to make high-use industries bear the brunt of power outages. To avoid being cut off altogether as part of their interruptible contracts, industrial power customers could be offered financial incentives to sell back unused power to the grid at peak demand times, effectively earning a premium to cut back on power usage when demand is high. Also, Newbery said power companies could be asked to exceed their capacities during peak periods, or conversely, to reduce voltages by 3 to 5 percent in certain areas to keep the grid stable. Gas Plants in a Holding Pattern Currently, the United Kingdom gets 30 percent of its electricity from gas-fired plants, but that’s expected to rise to 60 percent. Some existing gas plants that had closed or reduced operations could come back , and new additions are expected. “Constructing a gas plant is fairly simple,” said John Mitchell, an associate fellow for energy, environment, and resources at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. “It’s an easy add-on.” A new gas plant typically takes just 18 months to build. The U.K. already has in place a gas distribution infrastructure that could handle the extra demands, Mitchell says, and it also has sufficient terminals to handle additional liquid natural gas (LNG) imports.

Picture of an aerial view of London at dusk

A number of events, such as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games, which took place in the country in the summer months of 2012, were key factors in boosting the industry’s performance. Euromonitor International’s Retailing in United Kingdom report offers insight into key trends and developments driving the industry. The report examines all retail channels to provide sector insight. Channels include hypermarkets, supermarkets, discounters, convenience stores, mixed retailers, health and beauty retailers, clothing and footwear retailers, furniture and furnishing stores, DIY and hardware stores, durable goods retailers, leisure and personal goods retailers. There are profiles of leading retailers, with analysis of their performance and the challenges they face. There is also analysis of non-store retailing: vending; homeshopping; internet retailing; direct selling, as available. Product coverage: Non-Store Retailing, Store-based Retailing. Data coverage: market sizes (historic and forecasts), company shares, brand shares and distribution data. Why buy this report? * Get a detailed picture of the Retailing market; * Pinpoint growth sectors and identify factors driving change; * Understand the competitive environment, the market’s major players and leading brands; * Use five-year forecasts to assess how the market is predicted to develop.