Power supplies will be sufficient to keep the lights on this winter, the operator of Britain’s electricity transmission system has forecast, but only because of emergency measures introduced to avoid blackouts. National Grid predicted the buffer between supply and demand during the winter months was likely to average 5.5 per cent — similar to last year’s margin — and said this was “manageable”. However, the margin would have been just 0.1 per cent without spare capacity that power generators are paid to keep on standby, as well as a scheme to pay industrial users to reduce demand at peak times. National Grid has handed lucrative contracts to several energy companies to keep mothballed coal-fired power stations available for use at short notice as Britain’s creaking electricity network has come under increasing strain.Until new nuclear arrives, the UK will become more dependent on inherently unreliable wind power as well as electricity imported from continental Europe by interconnectors. National Grid said demand management had an increasingly important role to play, with growing numbers of industrial users signing up to its scheme to incentivise lower power consumption at times of high demand.
FT 8th July 2016 read more »
Joan MacNaughton, executive chairwoman of the World Energy Council’s World Energy Trilemma, said: “The UK, like almost every other major economy, is on a journey from an old-fashioned, baseload-heavy system to a more flexible, cleaner future. But the UK lacks a clear plan and stability and clarity are paramount right now. The capacity market is a short-term fix.”
Times 9th July 2016 read more »