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National Grid warns of Lower Winter Power Capacity - 29th October


Spare electricity capacity, which ran at about 5% over the winter months last year, would be nearer 4% this year, National Grid said. Three years ago the margin was 17% (see figure below).

But National Grid said it has contingency plans in place to manage supply, including paying big firms to switch off on cold winter evenings.

Spare electricity capacity in the National Grid during winter

Professor Jim Watson of the UK Energy Research Centre, said: "I think it's… very unlikely we will see blackouts in the UK, but what it does mean, this tight situation, is that lots and lots of extra measures are having to be layered on top of an already complicated policy framework."

Since 2012, 15 power plants have been closed or partially closed, taking out a large chunk of the UK's energy-generating capacity.

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