Britain's Ofgem warns of future energy shortages

Sponsored by

A report by the U.K.'s Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) that the country's aging power generation fleet, plant retirements and increasing demand for electric power could cause power outages in the next year and a half has prompted the U.K. energy minister to publicly state that the lights will stay on.

"I can assure you, the lights are not going to go out," Energy Minister Michael Fallon told the BBC. He went on to say that some industries could be asked to limit their power usage should the energy supply become too tight.

Ofgem reported in its Electricity Capacity Assessment Report 2013 that the risk of blackouts has doubled since 2012. In response to Ofgem's report, Ed Davey, head of the Department of Energy and Climate Change said the reliability of Britain's power supply depends upon timely action.

The risk of power outages could be even worse if the coming winter is colder than expected or if economic activity is more vigorous than anticipated. Adding to Britain's energy woes, the country has retired some 10 percent of its total generation capacity since 2008 to comply with European Union emissions-cutting schemes. In that time, about 8 GW of coal-fired generation has closed down in the U.K.

Grid operator National Grid, in turn, has said that while the role of addressing tightening energy margins falls outside of its typical role in the industry, it can propose solutions — including providing demand-side balancing reserve.

"National Grid has agreed with DECC and Ofgem to publish an informal consultation on the design of two measures to provide an ‘insurance policy’ that could be deployed in the unlikely event that there is a shortfall of electricity in the market," according to a statement on National Grid's website.

The demand-side solution would seek out large consumers of energy and shift their electricity use to lower-demand times of the week in exchange for a payment.

In addition, supplemental balancing reserve could be used, according to National Grid. This involves contracting with generators that would otherwise be closed or mothballed. This option would be a last resort before taking emergency action to balance the power system.

Other solutions suggested elsewhere include putting a temporary restriction on energy exports to Ireland and France in the interest of keeping the lights on in Britain.

Sponsored by
CURRENT ARTICLES

DOE project captures, stores 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide

04/24/2015 Rapid commercial development and deployment of clean coal technologies, particularly CCS, will help position the United St...

California tribe installs renewable energy microgrid

04/24/2015

The Bear River Band’s new microgrid combines wind energy, solar energy, and energy storage 

U.S. Department of Justice completes review of PPL-Riverstone transaction

04/24/2015 Previously, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commis...

ON DEMAND WEBCASTS

Beyond Integration: Three Dynamics Reshaping Renewables and the Grid

In a unique industry research initiative, DNV GL gathered views from over 1,600 energy sector par...

Engaging the Small and Mid-sized Business (SMB) Marketplace

This session will outline how Duke Energy leveraged Voice of Customer insights, previous experien...

When Grid Optimization is Not Enough: Making Cents of Disruptive Change.

Electric utilities today face unprecedented volatility and business challenges. To stay competiti...

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Premium Power

Premium power is an increasingly valuable tool for utilities and municipalities, who can charge m...

The Integrated Operating Model Creating an Advanced Outage Management Environment to Control the Grid

Amy Hime, Senior Manager of Engineering and Asset Systems at Enersource, will discuss the journey...

INDUSTRY STOCKS

EL&P BUYER'S GUIDE PRODUCTS

MITEM Corp

Provides CRM solutions for regulated U.S. public utilities. The product, MitemView integrates differently designed systems to share critical data a...

Resources on Demand

Manages resource requests, tracks personnel movements, and supports lodging/logistics during a power restoration event.

Smart Grids

Quanta is contributing to its customers' smart grid initiatives by installing technology on power networks to provide energy management solutions f...

Horizontal Directional Drilling

With 28 small, mid-sized and large drilling rigs, Quanta Pipeline Services is one of the largest horizontal directional contractors in the world fo...

POWERGRID PRODUCT LISTINGS

EtherMate® Industrial Ethernet - IO Modules

LioN-M ProfiNet device with 16 digital I/O channels, channels can be used universally as inputs or outputs, M12 socket, ro...

Low-Smoke Zero Halogen Premise Distribution Cable

AFL’s Low-Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) distribution cable offers all of the benefits of a traditional 900 µm based optical ca...

OFL280 FlexTester - Handheld OTDR

AFL's OFL280 FlexTester offers an unmatched combination of fiber test functions, ease-of-use, portability, and value.

TRM® 2.0 - Test Results Manager PC Analysis and Reporting

Test Results Manager 2.0 (TRM® 2.0) is an all-in-one analysis, viewer and reporting tool designed for use with NOYES fiber...

FEATURED ENERGY JOBS

View more Job Listings >>

POWERGRID International

March 2015
Volume 20, Issue 3
1503PG-cover

ELECTRIC LIGHT & POWER

January 2015
Volume 93, Issue 1
1501elp-cover