National Grid Winter Outlook: Reaction

National Grid’s news that the power margin for this winter is at 6.6% has been welcomed by the energy sector. Jonathan Marshall, Energy Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

National Grid’s news that the power margin for this winter is at 6.6% has been welcomed by the energy sector.

Jonathan Marshall, Energy Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said the operator’s Winter Outlook shows that the UK continues “to have a reliable electricity system” as it goes through this “period of transition”.

He added: “The 6.6% margin is comfortably within National Grid’s statutory requirements from the government, up by nearly 30% on last year’s margin. It shows how the segue from old, fossil fuel powered power stations to a system based on renewables and increased flexibility is taking place without the need for large capacity surpluses, which represent wasted investment.”

However, some argue that electricity prices are rising.

Jon Ferris, Strategy Director at Utilitywise said: “Coverage of National Grid’s Winter Outlook report rightly highlights that the actions they have taken have increased capacity margins over last year.

“However, the fact that wholesale prices for winter have risen to £60/MWh from a low of £36/MWh just a few months ago has been largely ignored. Consumers face a lower risk of blackouts, but this has come at a significant cost.”

Even though National Grid said there will be sufficient generation and interconnector imports to keep the lights on, Greenpeace UK’s Chief Scientist Doug Parr calls for moving away from old coal plants and highly polluting diesel farms to secure supply.

He added: “Our latest research has shown that even a simple switch to highly efficient LED light bulbs can dramatically reduce the risk of winter blackouts as well as bringing down energy bills and this is just a small example of the potential technological innovation has to create a more robust and cheaper energy system for everyone.”

Cordi O’Hara, Director of UK Operations at National Grid , will be speaking at Energy  Live 2016 on November the 3rd in London. Get your tickets here.

There are limited free tickets available for end users.