• Natural Gas News

    UK National Grid warns of possible three-hour power cuts this winter


The unlikely scenario would involve the UK losing its power imports from Europe and suffering cuts in domestic gas supply.

by: NGW

Posted in:

NGW News Alert, Natural Gas & LNG News, Top Stories, Europe, Gas to Power, News By Country, United Kingdom

UK National Grid warns of possible three-hour power cuts this winter

 The UK should brace for three-hour power cuts this winter in the event on some days this winter in the event that power supplies from continental Europe are reduced and there is insufficient domestic gas supply, National Grid warned in its Winter Outlook on October 6.

The unlikely scenario assumes that there are no power imports available from France, Belgium and the Netherlands, while 1.2 GW of electricity flow continues from Norway and 0.4 GW is exported to Ireland. Furthermore, 10 GW of combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) capacity is unavailable because of low domestic gas supply.

"Should this scenario happen, it may be necessary to initiate the planned, controlled and temporary rota load shedding scheme under the electricity supply emergency code," National Grid said. "In the unlikely even we were in this situation, it would mean that some customers could be without power for pre-defined periods during a day – generally this is assumed to be for three hour blocks."

The planned cuts would be necessary "to ensure the overall security and integrity of the electricity system across Great Britain. All possible mitigating strategies would be deployed to minimise the disruption."

National Grid is also contracting to retain 2 GW of coal-fired power capacity to be turned online in the event of energy shortages, and it is also introducing a demand flexibility service that gives consumers an incentive to cut consumptions during peak times.

"Overall, this is likely to be a challenging winter for energy supply throughout Europe," National Grid said. "We have taken measures to try to mitigate the impacts for British consumers and expect that, under our base case, margins will be adequate. Nevertheless, there remain scenarios, driven principally by factors outside of Great Britain, which could impact upon British electricity supplies."