The UK’s winter electricity capacity margin is set to be the lowest for a decade according to the National Grid’s winter outlook report. This could lead to the country relying on emergency measures to ensure the lights stay on.
The key margin between peak winter demand and maximum available output could drop to 1.2%, down from 4.1% last year. The drop follows the closure of three power stations in the last year.
The emergency system of back-up power plants was introduced during the last two years to help prevent blackouts. This year, measures for businesses to reduce demand at peak times and for bringing online additional capacity could cost £37million to guarantee that additional capacity will be available if called on. But even with the emergency back-up in place, the capacity margin only increases to 5.1%.
Commenting on the winter outlook, Energy Minister, Andrea Leadsom, said: “Our priority is to ensure that British families and business have access to secure affordable energy supplies that they can rely on. National Grid have confirmed that our plan to power the economy is working – and it means that the lights will stay on this winter as well as making sure our homes and businesses have the gas and electricity they need.”
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