UK National Grid avoids emergency blackout measures in supply scramble

Posted: November 28, 2022 by oldbrew in Energy, Uncertainty, weather
Tags: , ,

Winter isn’t even here yet. But with a colder weather spell plus low wind speeds around the corner, trouble is already brewing for renewables-infested electricity supplies. Somehow it’s linked to problems in France and/or Ukraine, according to this report.
– – –
National Grid opted against implementing emergency measures to stave off blackouts tomorrow, escalating fears of supply shortages this winter, reports City A.M.

The company’s electricity system operator (NGESO) revealed this morning that it was considering activating its Demand Flexibility Service (DFS) for the first time to help reduce the risk of blackouts on Tuesday.

This follows power outages in France and a decline in renewable energy generation over the past week.

In a notice published to the market at 10am today, National Grid said: “An anticipated DFS requirement has been published for tomorrow – Tuesday 29/11/2022.

“This is an indication that a DFS service requirement might be published today at 14:30.”

The plan was cancelled this afternoon after a scramble to secure enough power to keep the lights on – with the UK reportedly securing generation from one of its standby gas-fired power stations.

A notice at 2.30pm said: “There is no longer considered to be a requirement for DFS.”

The scheme was launched at the start of this month and is set up to pay households and businesses to cut the amount of electricity they use.

Scheme to ease supply crisis this winter

People who are signed up for the initiative are paid to not use appliances such as electric ovens, dishwashers and tumble dryers during peak hours.

The intention is to reduce strain from the system when supply is tight, as it was expected to be on Tuesday night.

Households which have signed up to the programme receive a message in advance asking them to turn off appliances at a certain time in exchange for £3 per kilowatt-hour saved.

If the £3 is fully passed on by the suppliers to customers, that equates to household payments of £20 for each day requested by National Grid.

National Grid has developed the scheme this year amid growing concerns over winter energy supplies following shortages triggered by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Full report here.

  1. oldbrew says:

    From the City A.M. report (click on graphic to enlarge):

    Caption: The UK’s energy mix today, showing a high dependency on fossil fuels (Source:

  2. saighdear says:

    £3 per kilowatt-hour saved, eh? and my units cost me around 33p WOW! huh, how do I get that up to £20? We’re burning lovely OIL which vaporises to a clean gas. 100% of the heat produced is consumed within the house – no problems ( maybe slight smell, but Grannie was used to that after the war with the Pink Paraffin or Esso Blue.) So we have no ahses to worry about from some coal and all that renewable timber we were burning from knock-down buildings ( scrap wood). Anyhow, I noticed that COAL was producing up to around 4GW today, Wind? the Herons were wondering about that too,( ~1GW?) but did not see the Public’s sense ( as per J Vine’s phone-in today) that we should be building MORE turbines RIGHT NOW – ONSHORE, even) to catch wind that ain’t there. ( like the no-fish-in-pond scenario) No amount of friends n neighbours ( Herons, storks, windNills ) is going to catch wind energy.

  3. Is the UK going to have a lottery to pick the few who will be allowed to actually cook a Christmas Dinner, or even warm up leftovers.

  4. Chaswarnertoo says:

    The insanity of net zero becomes obvious.

  5. oldbrew says:

    60.5% coal and gas when the going gets tough i.e. cloudy or dark with low wind speeds. Wind at 1.7% barely a factor, despite £billions spent.

    No energy transition there, only the road to energy poverty.

  6. […] UK National Grid avoids emergency blackout measures in supply scramble — Tallbloke’s Talksho… […]

  7. liardetg says:

    This is Tuesday morning, as a seafarer I
    Watch the isobars and we won’t have much wind (atm it’s zero) until late Friday.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Wind and solar 2% 🙄

    – – –
    ‘Scheme to ease supply crisis this winter’ – formerly known as coal, big pile of.

  9. Phoenix44 says:

    Shameful. Utterly shameful.

    A huge decline in living standards at a massive cost and this is supposed to be progress? We have had for decades the ability to supply cheap, reliable electricity at all times to all consumers. Now we do not. Because governments decided we shouldn’t.

  10. oldbrew says:

    NOV 30, 2022.
    Unreliable Energy Forcing Brits To Live On A Knife Edge This Winter

    This, then, is the upshot of more than 30 years of Britain’s botched energy strategy.

    We are importing energy because we failed to invest in new nuclear plants, closed our coal mines, turned our back on home-produced gas, and moved to a renewable energy source that does not function on calm days.

    If the coming winter is colder than usual, it will invariably be anti-cyclonic, which will mean light winds. Furthermore, it will be colder in Europe than here, making it harder for continental countries to send energy to the UK.
    – – –
    Totally predictable, as we’ve been doing for some time now. The light winds are here now. New nuclear is still years away.

  11. oldbrew says:

    Britain’s blackout plans put to the test as temperatures drop
    6 December 2022
    Tightening supplies worry households as National Grid is brought ‘close to the limit’

    Experts warn that a period of cold, combined with low wind speeds and nuclear problems in France, leave the UK power system extremely stretched.
    . . .
    “You can safely put on the cooker for our Christmas dinner. Meanwhile, there’ll be steel producers, chemical works, glass and paper manufacturers that will be curtailing their production, possibly even shutting plants altogether for a period of time.”

    That’s just the weather. Then there’s the Russia factor…

    ‘It is Putin’s bet that he can break Europe before it breaks Russia. He may also break Rishi Sunak’s Government and Britain’s social stability unless gas storage levels are massively increased by next winter, and buttressed by an emergency campaign to insulate buildings.’

    Insulate buildings? What a joke.

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