It’s time for the annual ‘will they or won’t they?’ – lights stay on – as the UK National Grid limbers up for the stresses and strains of the coming winter’s electricity demands, as Sky News reports. Nobody wants to end up praying for wind….
The National Grid has insisted it has the “right tools” in place to cope with this winter’s energy demands. The company’s Winter Outlook report said that without the measures it had put in place, spare capacity – the gap between generating capacity and peak demand – would plunge to just 1.2%.
It sought to reassure families and businesses that its plans, to pay to have mothballed power plants on standby and for factories to shut down operations at critical times if needed, would raise its capacity margin to 5.1%.
The findings mirrored predictions made in July that the lights should not go out, despite falls in typical generation caused by the closure of old power stations. It said then that the precautionary supply measures would cost £36m – adding 50p to the average energy bill.
National Grid’s director of UK market operations, Cordi O’Hara, said of the Winter Outlook report: “Electricity margins are manageable throughout the winter period and we believe we have the right tools in place to manage the system. This includes using the 2.4 gigawatt of additional balancing services that we have ready in place for times of highest demand.”
On the gas side, supplies are expected to be comfortable this year, thanks to good availability of liquefied natural gas on the global market and stable flows from the North Sea and Norway.”
Or, for a slightly different view: Schneider raises alarm over looming British ‘energy crunch’ this winter