On The Oil Drum The coming UK energy meltdown by Euan Mearns Worth reading the whole thing. It starts by pointing out that the UK has been energy independent for half a millennia and so the delusional behavior of the last half century is perhaps understandable. Its a long story of feckless regulation, under investment and privatized sausage making compounded by giddy dreams of a renewable energy economy that a less than eager private sector is somehow meant to create. Unlike some of its neighbors UK has squandered North Sea gas in a couple of generations and practically destroyed its coal industry along with the rest of its industrial base. This isn't so much an argument about the details of technology but the short sightedness of politicians and the people who elect them. Like the much ballyhooed deficit this is another can being kicked down the road to the grand kids. Privatization of utilities (apart from water) can provide marginal benefits to the tax payer but not when managed like this. Utilities that don't turn a short term profit and require long range investment are inherently problematic for the private sector, larding them with public sector bungs can be unwise. Keeping the lights on it a common good, it comes a long way before feel good sops to green piety for most people. This will end in soaring energy costs, collateral damage to the rest of the economy, job flight, massive government intervention and sky high taxes.