Risk of electricity blackouts has fallen to pre-energy crisis levels

National Grid report says risk of lights going out this winter has fallen Credit: PA

The risk of the lights going out has fallen ahead of this winter and is almost back to the pre-energy crisis normal, a new report has found.

National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) said that it only expects there to be around six minutes between the end of October and the end of March where it might have to resort to special measures to keep the grid running smoothly.

The report noted that the likelihood of demand outstripping supply is down from 12 minutes across the same period last year.

ESO have said if it can't withstand the usage the grid operator springs into action and lets potential generators know they should fire up, or use other tools to ensure that the grid stays stable.

“It’s not benign, but compared to last year it is almost going back to around where it was before last winter,” said Craig Dyke, the ESO’s head of national control.

“So the risks that we talked about last year, the probability of them occurring, are much, much lower.”

Meanwhile National Gas, which runs the gas grid, said it expects gas consumption to be broadly stable this year.

National Grid has requested more energy Credit: PA

Homes will use more gas, but less will be burnt to produce electricity, it said.

Last year, cut off from Russian gas, European countries imported gas from Britain that had come to the country by ship or from one of the UK’s pipelines from Norway.

This winter Britain will be likely to need gas imported from the European Union during cold spells to keep heating homes.

Otherwise it will largely rely on gas imported by ship – so called liquid natural gas (LNG) – or from Norway.

A Government spokesperson said: “These outlooks show we are in an even stronger position going into this winter than last, thanks to the efforts we have made to boost our energy security, with our system operators expecting there to be sufficient gas supply and electricity capacity to meet demand.

“We are confident in our plans to protect families and businesses in a wide range of scenarios, but we are not complacent and will continue to work closely with energy partners at home and abroad.”

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