Britain can ‘pay its way out of blackouts’ according to energy market and trading experts.
Concern about an impending struggle to keep the lights on was stoked recently by comments from the outgoing chief executive of Ofgem and National Grid has warned the capacity gap is as little as 4-5%.
But some panelists at a ‘Market Madness’ discussion last week at Energy Live 2013 took the view this fear might not materialise.
Magali Hodgson (pictured), Product and Services Optimisation Manager for npower said: “There is a price we can pay before we actually end up with a blackout.”
She said Britain will face “stresses to the system” and “very small margins”. But she said: “There is enough generation around – probably not the more efficient [forms].”
The sentiment was echoed by Andrew Horstead, Head of Commodities Research at Utilyx, who said: “I think we’re some way away from seeing blackouts but that’s not to say we should be complacent. We are moving into a very tight situation in the next few years.”
Mr Horstead said the National Grid had “a number of tools in its armoury” to prevent blackouts and suggested mothballed generation could be brought back online if the price is right, giving the example of SSE’s decision to reduce gas-fired generation at Peterhead.