Britain ‘will have enough capacity to meet winter electricity demand’

In its new outlook report, the National Grid ESO expects sufficient margins over the winter to meet demand

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National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has published its outlook forecast for this winter suggesting Britain has enough capacity to meet electricity demand.

That comes one day after British wholesale gas prices breached £3 per therm for the first time.

The report highlights there is sufficient generation and interconnector imports to meet demand and under all explored scenarios, margins remain within the Reliability Standard of three hours Loss of Load.

As Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and more people are returning to offices, transmission system demand is predicted to be higher compared to last year, the analysis suggests.

It also expects to see a peak of transmission demand in mid-December.

Fintan Slye, Director of ESO, said: “Our analysis shows that we expect sufficient margins over the winter and the system is within the Reliability Standard.

“Overall, our analysis shows a margin between supply and peak demand of 3.9GW for this winter, equivalent to 6.6%, this is calculated on a ‘de-rated’ basis and is after provision for typical outages and breakdowns.”

Responding to the report, Paul McGimpsey, Director of Markets and Regulation at Energy Networks Association, said: “Having access to diverse sources of electricity and gas helps the UK to have a resilient energy system.

“While we continue to drive action on net zero our priority remains to keep energy flowing this winter.”

Dr Simon Cran-McGreehin, Head of Analysis at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit said: “The UK has already started the work of creating a more modern, dynamic, flexible power grid that responds to both supply and demand, and today that translates into National Grid’s confidence that the lights will stay on this winter.

“But margins are tight and the current system still leaves households vulnerable to volatile international gas markets and the geopolitical game-playing of President Putin.”

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