National Grid fears electricity shortage for winter

After a number of early warning signs, the National Grid is raising an emergency plan to seek extra electricity this winter. Generators are being asked if they could provide more electricity in the case of a shortage as "there is an increased level of uncertainly over the volume of plant that may be available in the market this winter".


To prepare for possible reductions in the amount of spare generating capacity, ENER-G is advising businesses to make contingency plans to ensure important data is not lost and that core business functions remain intact.  


Key considerations in planning for electricity shortfalls, include:

 

  • Consider what technology needs to run off-grid in the event of a power outage.
  • Calculate how long it would need to run for and how much power it would require.
  • Consider your options for backup power - there may be a case for CHP installation.

 

In preparation for capacity constraints, The National Grid has launched its Supplemental Balancing Reserve scheme for winter 2014/15. Under this scheme generators would make more plant available to provide power at peak times between November and February.


Cordi O'Hara, National Grid's director of UK market operation,  explains:  "This is a sensible precaution to take while the picture for this winter remains uncertain. At this stage we don't know if these reserve services will be needed, but they could provide an additional safeguard."

 

Alongside the SBR, energy users are being encouraged to reduce their consumption at peak hours, through another scheme, The Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR). Cordi O’Hara added: “We have had a very positive response to the DSBR pilot and plan to offer contracts to the successful parties in September”. 

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