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Britain at its greatest risk of blackouts in six years

The Guardian

Jul 30, 2021

National Grid preview report said, electricity supplies might exceed demand by 5.3%

Britain is at its greatest risk of blackouts in six years this winter as old coal power plants and nuclear reactors shut down. While the economy emerges from Covid-19 restrictions, the energy demand has been on the rise.

National Grid surprised the market by releasing a preview report saying, electricity supplies might exceed demand by 5.3% - the tightest margin recorded since the winter of 2015-2016. Last year despite people staying away from public gatherings and offices it still recorded 3-4% while the energy supply was at high pressure.

National Grid’s electricity system operator, which is responsible for keeping the lights on, said it would be braced for “some tight periods”this year. They have asked businesses to reduce their electricity use to keep the lights on after a series of blackouts in coal-fired power stations. The UK has been forced to rely on its coal-fired power plants after having a record breaking coal-free streak in June 2020.

This year, it might be more difficult to cover the loss of a sudden power plant failure, an underwater power cable or low wind speeds due to the shutdown of older nuclear power plants.

This is not a problem that governments can solve alone; we need collaboration across regional governments, businesses, and communities as well. We all are a part of the solution, one choice at a time.

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