National Grid warns of lowest winter fuel supply for a decade

Bad weather this winter could see the UK at its biggest ever risk of blackouts, with the National Grid warning that its power reserves are stretched.

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National Grid: We can ensure security of power supply

A senior official at National Grid has offered reassurances that the UK's power infrastructure is well prepared to deal with possible difficulties this winter.

Among the possible solutions to fluctuating supply is to pay companies that use a lot of energy to switch their consumption to different times of day.

Duncan Burt, National Grid's head of commercial operations, also told ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi that the measures would add "less than a pound" to consumers' bills.

Old stations and lack of investment 'behind blackouts'

Old power stations and a lack of investment are behind this winter's potential blackouts, the Shadow Energy Secretary told Good Morning Britain.

Caroline Flint did not think there would be blackouts this winter, but said there would be recommendations about putting less pressure on the grid.


UK facing tightest winter energy crunch in eight years

Britain is facing its biggest ever blackout threat this winter after the National Grid revealed its power reserve supplies are wafer-thin.

Worse-than-normal weather could turn Britain's lights out this winter. Credit: PA

The sort of bad weather seen once every 20 years could result in the grid failing to meet the "basic reserve requirement" needed to run the system.

If that happened, it would be forced to adopt contingencies such as paying factories to shut down and supplying reserves from mothballed power stations.

In its annual Winter Outlook report, National Grid said gas supplies were well ahead of expected peak demand but warned of the uncertain impact of tensions if Russia cut off supplies to Europe.

The lack of power reserves has not been helped by the closing down of two EDF power plants amid safety fears and a fire at the Didcot B plant earlier this week. Another power station in Barking is also due for closure shortly.

National Grid's director of market operation Cordi O'Hara, said: "As system operator, we have taken the sensible precaution to secure additional tools to bolster our response to tighter margins."

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