UK winter power margins 'tight but manageable'

UK winter power margins 'tight but manageable'

by Big Mac

high voltage post

 

The electricity margins in the UK will continue to be “tight but manageable” this winter.

In its Winter Outlook for 2015/16, National Grid confirmed earlier predictions which showed the gap between total power generating capacity and peak demand would fall to just 1.2% without measures in place to secure supplies.

The grid operator has however procured 2.43GW in additional balancing services for the winter to manage periods of peak demand.

It includes 133MW coming from businesses that have signed up to reduce demand at peak times if called on in return for payments.

That takes the power margin up to 5.1% for winter 2015/16.

The report also showed UK supplies can meet gas demand “even under severe weather conditions for an extended period of time”.

Demand is expected to be in line with last year, showing a slight increase to 48.6bcm with a peak forecast of 465mcm/d.

The maximum potential delivery of gas supplies, including from storage, is 613mcm/d, which is significantly higher than expected peak demand, National Grid said.

Cordi O’Hara, Director of UK Market Operations added: “Electricity margins are manageable throughout the winter period and we believe we have the right tools in place to manage the system. This includes using the 2.4GW of additional balancing services that we have ready in place for times of highest demand.

“On the gas side, supplies are expected to be comfortable this year, thanks to good availability of liquefied natural gas on the global market and stable flows from the North Sea and Norway.”

Ms O’Hara will be speaking at the Energy Live 2015 conference on 5th November in London.