Britain faces tight electricity supplies this winter on rising demand and capacity constraints, National Grid has said.
In its Winter Outlook report, published on 7 October, the system operator said its base case for de-rated margin, which is a measure of the amount of excess capacity expected above peak electricity demand, is currently 3.9GW for winter 2021-22, or 6.6 % of capacity, down from 4.8GW, or 8.3% last winter. Tight margins are likely throughout December to mid-January. The latest forecast, is lower than a winter margin forecast of 4.3GW made in July this year and also the lowest margin level since the winter of 2016-17.
National Grid said it expects to issue a similar number of electricity margin notices (EMNs) this winter as last year, when six were issued. In each instance last winter, the market reacted and the EMNs were later cancelled.
Source: National Grid
In a statement accompanying the report, Executive Directive of ESO Fintan Slye said “We are confident that there will be enough capacity available to keep Britain’s lights on,”
Mark Davis, GridBeyond’s Managing Director UK & Ireland, said:
“This report comes amid record high energy prices in Britain which contributed to a number of energy suppliers going bust last month, caused some industrial firms to curtail production and warnings over some food shortages this winter.
“Should Britain experience periods of supply tightness, we would expect power prices to escalate. Businesses that are able to take part in National Grid schemes to reduce demand during peak events could reap the rewards, especially if further plant closures or outages are announced ahead of winter. However, expectations of tight conditions and high prices will be of concern to businesses without interruptible or flexible load. One way businesses can sure up their resilience is through investment in on-site battery storage or generation assets.
“GridBeyond is already working with our clients to create opportunities from energy storage. Whether you already have storage on-site and are looking to optimise it further or are looking for a CapEx free battery for your site, GridBeyond can support your business this winter.”