Britain faces a power crisis of unimaginable proportions. Our generating capacity is degrading at a rapid pace, and according to energy minister Chris Huhne, we face power blackouts in a few years.
Indeed, we are looking at a shortfall of at least 40 per cent as our elderly nuclear and conventional gas, coal and oil power stations reach their dotage. As they close, the spectre of fuel poverty will continue to raise its head.
During last winter, that coldest of cold snaps, according to official statistics, thousands of pensioners died because they were unable to afford to heat their homes. Sadly this is just the beginning.
Our economy runs on power. After wages, the biggest cost to most businesses is energy. We have all seen domestic bills soar in recent years, cutting into our disposable income and making life much less pleasant. How can this be?
It is not as if we don't know that we need power, it is not as if siren voices haven't been warning us for at least a decade that unless we seriously invest in energy generation we will be back to candles and watermills.