National Grid has published its 2014/15 Winter Outlook. The Outlook has been produced by National Grid in its role as electricity System Operator and as owner and operator of gas transmission infrastructure in Great Britain. The Outlook follows consultation with the energy industry, analysts, academics and energy policy experts. On gas, supplies are in a strong position this winter, with gas supplies, storage and network capacity well in excess of maximum expected demand. This year electricity margins have decreased compared to recent years, with the average cold spell (ACS) margin expected to be 4.1%. This is due to planned generator closures, breakdowns and new plant not coming online as quickly to replace them. In response, National Grid is finalising contracts with three power stations to provide additional reserve under Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR); these are Littlebrook, Rye House CCGT and Peterhead CCGT. Together with the Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR) that National Grid has already contracted, these will provide an additional 1.1 GW of de-rated capacity to that assumed available in our base case, increasing the de-rated margin from 4.1% to 6.1%.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change has also published the annual Statutory Security of Supply Report (SSSR) that looks at the UK’s energy security for this winter and up-coming winters. Ofgem’s Rachel Fletcher said “there is no increased risk of blackouts this winter”.
Business and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock said:
“We have taken action to make sure our energy needs will be met this winter.
“We have given National Grid new tools they need to meet energy demand this winter and our working through a long term plan to turn around a legacy of underinvestment in our energy sector. This government has made sure homes and businesses across the country will be energy secure.”