National Grid needs emergency measure to keep UK lights on

Posted: November 4, 2015 by Andrew in Energy

imageLast resort” measure known as NISM issued as margins are squeezed due to power station faults and lack of wind

A Notification of Inadequate System Margin (NISM) was issued for 16:30 to 18:30 as a number of faults at Rugeley, Fiddlers Ferry, Didcott & Eggborough powerstations added up to tighten margins. At the same time a total lack of wind generation, put National Grid into a spin.

Some articles on this event describe a NISM as a “last resort” measure, as this is taken from National Grid’s own publications. However there are further steps before blackouts.


HRDR – High Risk of Demand Reduction

DCI – Demand Control Iminent

Following a NISM, existing power suppliers get very rich, very quickly. An offer of £2,500/ Megawatt hour 40x average price from Severn Power was accepted.

All this on a warm November afternoon.

See how the Telegraph has covered the incident.

  1. I assume the taxpayer will be picking up the bill for this emergency demand shortfall? I know we’ve been warned about this for years but it still amazes me that the chickens look like they are finally coming home to roost.
    I know if it is selfish and bad for the environment but I’m glad that I have a ready supply of logs to fuel my wood stove. Unfortunately, unlike my old gas boiler that could run without electric, modern boilers need power. *If* this winter is cold there are going to be a lot of cold, angry people around…

  2. Stephen Richards says:

    This winter in the UK likely to be average or slightly below (temps )

  3. tallbloke says:

    Buy candles.

    And pitchforks.

  4. or barbed wire and shotguns?

  5. Joe Public says:

    To put things into context – look at your latest electricity bill. Are you paying ~10p/kWh to say 15p/kWh? Delivered to your home.

    Publicly available data shows Severn Power has sold electricity to National Grid at £2,500 per MWh — more than 40 times the normal price of about £60.

    That’s £2.50/kWh – at the entry into the system.

  6. clivebest says:

    Watch out for that green crap landing on our heads as birdlife hopefully take revenge. We should drop bird food from helicopters onto DECC’s london HQ.

  7. ivan says:

    It should be all the owners of the non productive wind and solar farms that should have to pay for this. At least they would if they were contracted to supply a certain amount of power to the grid rather than the grid having to buy power from them including payment for unneeded power.

    So much for useless green energy and government mandated contracts.

  8. Fanakapan says:

    Despite the potential inconvenience, this is good. Nothing like power cuts to raise inconvenient questions.

    Although, if there’s any truth in FDR’s dictum that nothing happens by accident in politics, it just may be that the G want or need a power crisis in order to stimey the Green Idiots 🙂

  9. […] Source: National Grid needs emergency measure to keep UK lights on | Tallbloke’s Talkshop […]

  10. 30 years ago you would have been considered to have gone senile if you had predicted that we would be in this state today. Even works of fiction wouldn’t say this would happen.

    Green idiots lead inevitably to the state we are in today.

  11. hunter says:

    The Atlas Shrugged Moment approaches.

  12. Bryan says:

    I watched the debate in the House of Lords on Tuesday night

    Bryony Worthington the HoL shadow energy minister delivered a speech
    She was the prime mover of legislation in the UK for the Climate Change Act

    She has now realised that there is a little industry of small scale diesel generators now commissioned to keep the lights on when the ‘renewables’ don’t work.
    Binding contracts have been completed
    This ‘patch up’ situation is the worst possible outcome

    By shutting down highly efficient coal energy plants like Longannet she has achieved

    Intermittent energy supply
    Highly polluting nitrogen dioxide as well as CO2 from the diesel plants
    The highest cost electrical energy in Europe
    Factory closure on a grand scale

    All this from of the ‘workers and poor folk’ party

    Several spectacular own goals!

  13. oldbrew says:

    Meanwhile in the real world coal power is booming in Asia.

    No wonder UK steel and aluminium plants can’t compete any more.

  14. oldbrew says:

    No rocket scientists needed to see where National Grid’s problems lie…

    ‘On Wednesday [4th Nov.] National Grid issued a Notification of Inadequate System Margin (NISM) calling for an additional 500 MW between 4:30 and 6:30 pm – the first such alert since 2012.

    In addition, the company invoked a newly-minted emergency scheme, Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DBSR), for the first time. It called on large businesses to cut their power use between 5:00 and 6:00 pm, resulting in a demand reduction of around 40 MW after 46 businesses complied.

    National Grid blamed the low margin on “multiple plant breakdowns”, with several older coal-fired plants temporarily shutting down for maintenance. In addition, low wind speeds had sidelined most of the UK’s 13 GW of installed wind power capacity. ‘

    So to sum up: they needed an extra 500 MW because most of the UK’s 13 GW of wind power (26 times what they were short of) failed to show up.

  15. […] reported by the Talkshop in November, the National Grid has only recently been in emergency measures (NISM) to ensure the lights stay […]