2015 had a wild but mild winter, however the National Grid is
already preparing for power blackouts or brownouts in winter 2016.
This is the conclusion from a panel debate on winter blackouts between Lord Rupert Redesdale, CEO of the Energy Managers Association and Jon Ferris, Strategy Director at Utilitywise.
Lord Redesdale has stated that there is a risk of around 80% that the UK may suffer from blackouts or brownouts during winter 2016. This risk is due to the National Grid not having a great enough capacity to manage peak demands during the winter time.
He said: “It might not happen this year but that’s not the issue, the issue is that we don’t have solutions for the next five to 10 years.”
Mr Ferris said, “The key thing for me is if we do get a high pressure system developing in December that brings cold across Europe which could mean the French heating demand goes up so they’re not able to export power because they’re dependent on power for their heating, low wind in Germany so Germany can’t export because demand goes up. If that’s the case then we would be in real trouble.”
Lord Redesdale believes the UK energy system doesn’t have the generating capacity that it needs to avoid blackouts and predicts a 35% loss of power by 2020.
Both speakers agreed the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) and Capacity Market have been a failure.
Mr Ferris said: “I think history is not going to be kind on the whole package of EMR. It gives a missed opportunity to really change the way the electricity system works for 21st century and it does require significant change.”
Lord Redesdale added: “Everybody knew it was going to be a car crash because the politicians don’t understand energy.”
Here at Utility Trade we are acutely aware of the possible risks facing the UKs power supply, we believe that one part of the solution is for business owners to become more self sufficient.
There are a multitude of ways to accomplish this from Biomass heating to PV solar electricity supplies. There are other benefits despite being sufficient including; if your business is producing more electricity than you need you can export some to the national grid. Exporting your electricity has a twofold benefit of you being paid an export tariff for your power and helping meet national demand thus preventing local blackouts.