National Grid warns of short electricity supply

Over the next few days, the National Grid has said electricity could be in short supply.

By Matt Maynard · 15th October 2020

Due to unplanned power outages across Britain and unusually low wind speeds, the National Grid has warned that Britain's electricity will be in short supply over the next few days. 

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) said they will make sure there is enough electricity generation during the cold weather spell to prevent a major blackout.

“Unusually low wind output coinciding with a number of generator outages means the cushion of spare capacity we operate the system with has been reduced,” the ESO told its Twitter followers.

A spokesperson for the National Grid said the company did not expect to issue a warning in the next 24 hours, as the electricity supply squeeze was not expected to be as tight, but the company are "monitoring how the situation develops," she said. 

In mid-September the National Grid issued an official warning to the electricity market that its backup of power reserves had fallen below 500MW, and it may need to call on more power plants to prevent a blackout. However, this warning was later withdrawn. 

The National Grid's main challenge in recent years has actually be an oversupply of energy, which can overwhelm the grid during prolonged periods of low energy demand. They also paid generators to produce less energy during the coronavirus lockdown to prevent blackouts during the first half of 2020. 

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