Coronavirus lockdown ‘knocks electricity demand by 13%’

A new report suggests this change in energy consumption is most notable in the morning peak and middle of the day

Big Zero Report 2022

After the government imposed lockdown of the UK population, energy demand on Wednesday 25th March was down 13% across the day, significantly lower than an average Wednesday in March.

Cornwall Insight research suggests this change in the energy consumption during the coronavirus pandemic is most notable in the morning peak and middle of the day, when there would have been typically more demand due to the industrial and commercial load.

Tom Edwards, Senior Modeller at Cornwall Insight, said: “As large electrical loads such as factories, shops and rail started to reduce their activities, demand was down.

“Lower demand brings its own set of challenges to managing the system, the chief among which is managing system stability. Low demand means there is less space to operate larger synchronous generators.

“This can affect system inertia and Rate of Change of Frequency – how quickly the system responds to a change of conditions. To cope with this, the ESO (National Grid), could constrain wind and keep thermal plant such as gas or coal running.”

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