and that is why we need a national strategy for our electricity supply, which we used to have, but at present seems to be in disarray !
assuming as a nation we have agreed to eliminate coal-fired power stations, we need to bring on line an alternative, guaranteed supply that will meet demand, when demand is demanded !
CCGT is one economic option, but the fuel supply (gas) isn't totally guaranteed. new nuclear is another option, and the government needs to pull its finger out and get building underway and/or extend the life of existing installations and/or delay the decommissioning of coal stations.
The above generators (Coal, CCGT and Nuclear) are base load generating systems. We can meet forecast demand quite easily, including peaks if we have enough of them. Any surplus capacity during off-peak times can be used to top up storage systems as we do now. Nuclear is safe, clean and sustainable. It will help us meet our environmental commitments as well.
By all means let us harvest wind power. And hydro-electricity. Both use free fuel and are sustainable in that sense. But wind power on its own is not able to meet demand, when demand is needed. It might help reduce the consumption of gas in CCGT. Is that cost-effective ?
Wind power, wave power, tidal power, solar power need to come with their own storage systems if they are to be effective contributors to our power-on-demand requirements. There are two (sort of) viable storage systems in existence in the UK at present. Chemical (batteries) and pumped hydro eg Foyers and Ben Cruchan (small) and Dinorwig (largish). But that's it. I don't think there are any more viable pumped storage sites available and the battery systems don't seem to be effective.
So until we come up a large scale, viable storage system, I think we need a medium term strategy based on extending existing coal for another decade or so, extending existing nuclear for a decade or so and start building new nuclear as the long-term solution. And I wouldn't rely on the Chinese or the French.