National Grid ordered boost in energy output after plant breakdowns

The National Grid asked the UK power industry to ramp up electricity production after multiple energy plant breakdowns.

An additional 500 megawatts was requested between 16.30 and 18.30 yesterday evening (on Wednesday).

It was the first time in three years that the National Grid issued such a notice.

In a statement the company described the notice as “one of the routine tools that we use to indicate to the market that we would like more generation to come forward for the evening peak demand period”. Adding that “the market duly responded to this signal”.

“More generation came forward and about 40 MW of demand side balancing reserve was ordered so the NISM has been withdrawn,” The National Grid said.

The National Grid said last month that gas supplies for the winter were “comfortable”, but described electricity supplies as being “manageable”.

The company said that spare energy capacity will be close to four percent this winter – the lowest rate in several years. There are concerns that there could be blackouts as a result.

Brian Strutton from the GMB union said: “The UK government and National Grid are far too complacent about the risks of widespread power blackouts.”

Last month the Institute of Directors described Britain’s energy infrastructure crisis as a “slow motion train crash”.

“The plant retirement rate has simply outrun the replacement rate,” said Institute of Directors (IoD) energy policy adviser Dan Lewis.

“That we are even talking about the possibility of blackouts is in itself a massive policy failure. Even if the lights don’t go out, wholesale prices will jump to uncompetitive levels and consumers and businesses will pick up the bill.”