Sunny times ahead says National Grid

The UK’s gas and electricity supplies over the summer look secure. National Grid today published its Summer Outlook report for 2015. It says that supplies for gas and electricity look […]

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By Sumit Bose

The UK’s gas and electricity supplies over the summer look secure.

National Grid today published its Summer Outlook report for 2015. It says that supplies for gas and electricity look fine and it predicts that coal will be used slightly more than gas for power generation.

In terms of gas, though the levels of LNG imports are difficult to predict, National Grid believes we have enough capacity from the North Sea and Norway to guarantee levels over the summer months.

Cordi O’Hara Director of Market Operation said: “I am pleased to say that supplies of both gas and electricity look to be adequate for the summer period and our networks are in good shape to meet the operational challenges of the coming months.

“Despite periods of low demand, summers are challenging as many of the winter hurdles we face as the System Operator are replaced with new ones.

“The complexity of operating the gas network is increasing, with two main issues. We have an increase in the variety of supply sources and it’s not easy to predict where the gas will be coming from. We also have gas and electricity interactions, with gas fired power generation currently marginal and a growing amount of intermittent electricity generation adding to the unpredictability of flows.”

The report predicts coal and gas prices will be almost equal and competition between the two could increase. At present the state of the markets tends to favour LNG imports to Europe rather than Asia.

In terms of electricity National Grid predict we will need a minimum levels of demand of 18.6GW over the summer, which is 1.1GW higher than expected.

Ms O’Hara added: “Turning to electricity, our greatest challenges come from the continuing trend of falling peak energy demand and lower minimum demand levels and the associated system operability issues.”

Generators including wind farms and demand side response providers will also probably be needed to balance the supply for the summer.

You can download the report and give your feedback to National Grid directly.