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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. 

  • We haven't quite reached the nadir of the 1970s, but with the benefits (?) of Brexit yet to materialise, and the after effects of covid, and Government policy, I think that people may well learn to be more careful about how much fuel they consume. So I don't expect power cuts in UK.

  • From what I'm reading it's a phased process, they will ask the largest users to essentially cut back or switch off for portions of time, in order to provide as much stability for residential homes as they can, for as long as they can. 

    Problem is, that isn't a long term solution.

    Everyone really needs to play their part in reducing consumption, even then I'm sceptical at the amount that will do as for every one person cutting back, there's always someone else turning the heating up with a 'stuff everyone' kind of attitude. 

  • This report Is rather doomerish. It refers to a "significant risk" of a gas supply emergency this winter with supplies to gas fired power stations at risk.

    Apart from power cuts, this could result in gas burning power station owners going bust. They have to pay compensation if they are unable to supply the electricity that they promised. Fines of several hundred million pounds PER DAY could be payable.

  • Updated news report here  More strongly worded than the earlier report, and is also on the front page rather than being confined to the business section.

    Specifically mentions risk of power cuts.

  • 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. 

  • It's going to be down to everyone to do their bit to help, globally to be frank. 

    While I don't see this as a doomsday kind of scenario, it's not going to be comfortable to get through for anyone.

  • 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.