UK braces for winter blackouts in energy crisis plan: press
The UK is preparing for potential organised blackouts for several days this winter, affecting both industry and households, in the event that a cold snap coincides with gas shortages, Bloomberg reported on August 9, citing sources familiar with the government's planning.
Under the government's latest "reasonable worst-case scenario," the UK could face a shortfall in power generation amounting to around a sixth of peak demand, even after back-up coal-fired power plants have been switched on. In this scenario, below-average temperatures combine with reduced power imports from Norway and France, resulting in the UK having to trigger emergency measures to conserve gas for four days in January.
The scenario is "not something we expect to happen," the government's department for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) said in a statement, according to Bloomberg. "Households, businesses and industry can be confident they will get the electricity and gas they need."
Meanwhile, consultancy Cornwall Insight said on August 9 it expected the energy price cap for households to reach £4,266 ($5,150) annually in the first three months of next year, up from £2,000 at present. The forecast has triggered calls for the government to introduce additional support measures for vulnerable consumers, although Liz Truss, the runaway favourite to succeed Boris Johnson as UK prime minister next month, has so far ruled out such a move.