Britain can meet energy demand this winter, says National Grid

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Britain will have enough electricity and gas supply to meet power demand this winter, even after the Brexit transition period ends, National Grid said on Thursday.

National Grid, which operates the UK power network, expects there to be sufficient generation and capacity through Britain’s power links with Europe, called interconnectors, to meet demand throughout winter 2020/21.

“We expect interconnector flows to be unaffected by the end of the EU transition period … furthermore, even in the highly unlikely event of no interconnector flows between Britain and continental Europe, we have the tools and capabilities to ensure security of supply,” the grid operator said.

The so-called de-rated margin, or surplus power margin, is forecast at 4.8 gigawatts (GW), much less than the 7.8 GW forecast last winter.

The lower surplus is due to generation outages and plant closures but still within acceptable standards to ensure the system runs safely and securely.

Demand for energy on the electricity system dropped by as much as 18% earlier this year after lockdown restrictions to counter the COVID-19 pandemic but has sinced started to recover to normal levels.

Earlier on Thursday National Grid said that electricity supply margins were likely to be tight in the country over the next few days because of low wind power generation and a number of outages but said it would have adequate supply.

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