UK power supply ‘tight but manageable this winter’

The UK’s power supply this winter is likely to be tight but manageable. Although it will be impacted by poor generation and supply in France, the UK has enough energy reserves to make it through […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The UK’s power supply this winter is likely to be tight but manageable.

Although it will be impacted by poor generation and supply in France, the UK has enough energy reserves to make it through a cold winter, according to ENTSO-E’s analysis of security of supply risks in Europe.

France is facing the lowest nuclear generation it has seen in a decade, with maintenance meaning 13 plants will be offline in December and nine will be offline in January.

That is expected to lead to a tense situation that will have knock-on effects in the UK and Belgium, the report states.

It adds if demand becomes particularly severe as temperatures fall below seasonal averages, the UK will be able to fall back on its energy reserves, which include 3.5GW from the National Grid and extra power from a series of back-up pump-storage plants and Short-Term Operational Reserves (STOR).

Both the French and Belgian Transmission System Operators (TSOs) plan to limit industrial energy use at peak times to get the most out of their power reserves.

Overall, Europe is expected to have enough power to meet normal and severe levels of demand over the energy-intensive season.