Despite claims that Britain is on the brink of blackouts and amid forecasts of a looming cold snap, all is calm inside the room where a score of engineers and analysts work to ensure the lights stay on. The way that the UK maintains its electricity reserves is evolving, with a new system for subsidising backup power being brought in next winter. Last Friday £378m worth of contracts were awarded for the capacity market, most of which will be paid to old gas, coal and biomass power stations that will be ready to provide power at short notice if there is a surge in demand or dip in supply. But the sources of the UK’s power are changing fast, from a small number of fossil fuel and nuclear power plants to a greater reliance on renewable providers such as windfarms, backed up by gas power plants and undersea power lines connected to continental Europe and Ireland. The grid says the transformation does not make its job harder – just different.
Guardian 6th Feb 2017 read more »