The UK’s electricity reserves have halved in the last 12 months, which means that blackouts this winter have reached the highest they’ve been in six years. The risk has come at a time when a handful of coal-powered stations have fallen due to new legislation resulting in older fossil fuel power stations to be turned off. The situation has worsened with the added plans for certain gas-powered stations to be suspended because of economic pressures.
As we lead into winter weather Britain will have margins of only 5%, which is the lowest it’s been since 2007. The margins depend on the peak demand and the available supply from power stations and pipelines imported from other countries. The concern is that if the margin between supply and demand falls to zero, then the UK will not be able to issue warnings to switch on generators in time and it will result in blackouts.
Director of the National Grid, Chris Tain shows confidence, “While there have been power station closures since last winter, the information suggests that the market can meet demand in cold weather.” (Daily Mail 2013)
If this winter is similar to weather that the UK saw earlier this year, it is likely to exhaust the gas reserves, which Britain was close to last March. Therefore households need to be energy efficient when it comes to heating their homes and making sure they are on the best tariffs so they aren’t paying through the roof for energy. Visit Energy Switcheroo for energy efficient tips and our online comparison site for the winter months ahead.