National Grid to be quizzed over UK energy security

The Energy and Climate Change Committee is to question National Grid about the security of the UK’s energy supply. It comes amid concerns about keeping the lights on this winter […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The Energy and Climate Change Committee is to question National Grid about the security of the UK’s energy supply.

It comes amid concerns about keeping the lights on this winter as National Grid’s predicted a 5.1% gap between total power generating capacity and peak demand – the tightest in a decade.

Earlier this month the system operator also issued a notice asking for 500MW of capacity to be brought online following “multiple plant breakdowns”.

However it insisted there are no blackout risks.

The hearing next week will investigate National Grid’s predictions for security of supply in the UK gas and electricity markets, the availability of power generation this winter and the likelihood of insufficient margins and its tools to respond to those events.

Angus MacNeil MP, Chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee said: “The security of our electricity supply is something we all take for granted but a lot of effort goes on behind the scenes to keep the lights on and the gas flowing. The closure of polluting coal-fired generation has left capacity margins at worryingly low levels this winter.

“Making a swift transition to a low carbon economy is crucial but meeting the every day energy demands of households and businesses must always take priority. National Grid has statutory responsibility to keep the lights on: the Committee intends to examine their capability to do so.”