The risk of electricity blackouts in Britain this winter has diminished, after the National Grid and the government spent more than £140m on tools designed to guarantee the lights stay on. The Grid’s capacity margin, the cushion between electricity demand and supply, has risen to 6.6%, beating its summer prediction of 5.5%. The buffer zone is also well ahead of last year’s “tight but manageable” 5.1%, which was the lowest in a decade. In its annual winter outlook, the firm that operates the UK’s electricity transmission network said it expects average peak demand of 52.7GW during cold weather, with 55GW of supply capacity available. The improved position is partly down to a reprieve for the Eggborough coal power plant in North Yorkshire, which was due to shut down before the winter but will stay partly operational until March 2017.
Guardian 14th Oct 2016 read more »