How likely are rota power cuts this winter in UK?

What is the general view among members as to the probability of planned or rota power cuts in the UK this winter. I refer here not to random breakdowns caused by extreme weather etc, but to planned rota cuts due to lack of generating capacity, or of fuel to run that capacity.

Forecasts seem to range from "we are doomed" to "it will be fine"

It seems to me that generating capacity is sufficient, but that supplies of natural gas to run that capacity may be insufficient.

I expect rota power cuts but only on a limited scale, perhaps about 5% of peak demand, and then only during adverse conditions, not all winter. I expect that electricity shortages will be worse in Europe, and that imports from Europe into the UK may therefore not be available. 

  • I might suspect that if large gas users (power stations) are obliged to reduce consumption (so preserving supplies for domestic gas consumers), the resulting reduction in available electrical power might be similarly handled by asking large consumers of electricity (industry etc) to reduce consumption - well before more general rota cuts.

        - Andy.

  • Agreed Andy. 

    Though again I don't see this as very sustainable for more than a month or so, isn't it the same kind of issue as shutting production during the pandemic. 

    While big users will try and save where they can. They'll still want to maintain production, can you imagine someone telling VW to just shutdown for a day a week? 

    I can tell you as a former Bentley contractor they wouldn't be best pleased Laughing

    though saying that, it provides an opportunity for places to make upgrades which save energy. 

  • Well if 20 years ago when the Green Madness took hold of our political elite, we would not be in the sorry state we're in today.

    It beggers belief that folk hang their coats on CO2 emissions.

    We should have instead placed our faith in nuclear and cleaner coal. We would not even be batting and eyelid to our energy consumption.

    So much for forward thinking but then a governments only in power for 5 years so there's no incentive.

  • Green madness?  Our problem at the moment is that we are critically dependent on an imported fossil fuel - natural gas.  The wind turbines and solar farms haven't been affected in the slightest by international events.  Hydro is still working just fine too (it's lucky that the areas that have it haven't been affected by the severe droughts in other parts of the country).

    It's like the news media in Texas blaming wind turbines for the power cuts when they had an unexpected big freeze a year or so ago.  Actually, the wind turbines were working just fine.  It was the coal and gas fired power stations that were shutting down all over the place, because the operators had cut costs and not made them winter proof.  But the anti-greens like to blame renewables for everything.

  • Well do you really think that we would be where we are today if we had not swallowed the green energy mantra.

    You can't run any economy on unreliable energy as will be soon be  apparent both in the USA and especially Germany. And here to eventually.

    Simply put its green madness.

Reply Children
  • I don't feel it's that, I think we've half a'sed moving into a greener transition, which has led to gov and industry dragging its feet for years and now we've got to a head where we're all looking for these solutions and both gov and industry and suddenly flapping at how to develop and install everything yesterday. 

    In terms of reliability though It's not fair to describe any of these as unreliable, any energy source is unreliable depending on how you frame the question. 

    No coal? Unreliable

    No Gas? Unreliable

    No nuclear fuel? Unreliable

    Arguably you're a little more reliant on there generally being wind and sun SOMEWHERE on the planet most of the time.