National Grid doubles emergency planning exercise amid energy crisis

The National Grid has doubled its annual emergency gas shortage drill from two to four days

Big Zero Report 2022

The UK National Grid has extended its emergency gas shortage drill from two to four days as analysts had raised concerns over potential power cuts for several days in January.

The government has reassured households and businesses that they will have enough power to get through the tough winter.

According to the rules, the gas supply industry must run drills for gas shortages.

The ‘Exercise Degree’, which will take place on 13th, 14th September, 4th and 5th October, aims to prove whether the UK’s energy system is capable of responding to a potential gas shortage scenario.

The emergency planning exercise is also designed to test the “management of an emergency gas supply shortage, through the use of warning notices and the establishment of proactive communications channels”.

A National Grid Gas Transmission spokesperson told ELN: “Exercise Degree is the latest in a long series of annual exercises which go back to 1996 when the Network Emergency Coordinator role was created.

“The exercises enable National Grid Gas, government and industry participants to test the effectiveness of industry-wide emergency arrangement in order to prevent and (if unavoidable) respond to a gas supply emergency.

“The Network Emergency Coordinator has an obligation to provide assurance to the Health and Safety Executive on the effectiveness of these arrangements.

“The pre-winter exercises take place every year and have become a routine part of the energy industry’s annual calendar. The arrangements for Exercise Degree were made back in January 2022.”

A government spokesperson told ELN: “These are standard, industry-led exercises by National Grid which take place every year as part of normal preparations for a wide range of scenarios, including those that are highly unlikely to occur.

“Thanks to the UK’s secure and diverse energy supplies, households, businesses and industry can be confident they will get the electricity and gas they need.”

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