Winter demand service to triple: Will UK lights stay on?

The electricity system operator expects a significant increase in participation in this winter’s Demand Flexibility Service, potentially tripling last year’s uptake

This winter, the electricity system operator (ESO) is preparing for a significant surge in demand for its Demand Flexibility Service (DFS).

In comparison to last winter’s programme, the ESO anticipates that this year’s takeup will be at least three times larger.

Under what they term a “fairly moderate” scenario, the ESO foresees around 1GW of capacity being made available through the DFS.

In a more optimistic outlook, they believe that as much as 2GW could be accessible.

Figuring into this equation is a hypothetical scenario where electricity supplies face significant reductions, potentially totalling around 4GW.

These reductions could stem from unexpected drops in output from British power generation or diminished imports from Europe.

However, the ESO’s assessment suggests that by deploying the DFS, they can maintain adequate margins, staying within the “reliability standard” even with a fairly moderate takeup of up to around 1GW.

Should the uptake reach 2GW, it would further bolster the system’s resilience.

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