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Sunday, 25 February

Straight from the Horses Mouth - Winter Energy Position

The National Grid has published its Winter Outlook which states that though its gas position is strong, electricity margins are 'tighter but manageable' and new tools to have been introduced to balance the system.

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.

It says that gas supplies are in a strong position this winter, with gas supplies, storage and network capacity well in excess of maximum expected demand.

However, 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. National Grid is refuting claims that the country is on the brink of a winter of power cuts - but is effectively saying we'll come close.

This has led to power stations being called on 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 capacity (pushing the 4.1% margin to 6.1%).

Cordi O’Hara, Director of Market Operation, said: “The Winter Outlook Report provides the energy market with a snapshot of the potential gas and electricity picture for the coming winter. Our analysis shows gas supplies to be in a strong position. Supply sources are diverse, network capacity is healthy and gas storage is well stocked.

“The electricity margin has decreased compared to recent years but the outlook remains manageable and well within the reliability standard set by Government.

 “We have taken the precaution to secure additional tools to bolster our response to tighter margins.

 “We will continue to keep a close watching brief across both electricity and gas throughout the winter so that we’re placed to respond to any unanticipated events.”

To read the report - click here

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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