posted on Sep, 26 2008 @ 07:08 AM
reply to post by Extralien
Not sure if anyone noticed, but this story was covered with a much less alarmist slant to it by the BBC. They mentioned nothing about this winter,
just that if demand kept creeping up and plans to decomission aging plants went ahead whilst there are no clear plans to build any more, then we might
have an energy crisis in 5 years as 1/3rd of the generating capacity is due to be decommissioned by 2020.
Not the same as "this winter". Typical Daily Mail hype and tripe.
The UK will experience prolonged power cuts in about five years unless urgent action is taken now, a report warns.
It said a third of generation capacity was due to be decommissioned by 2020, but was not being replaced fast enough.
The report, by nuclear supporting Fells Associates, said new reactors would not be ready in time, and questioned spending on renewable energy.
I work for a company that has close dealings with the National Grid (details of which I cannot divulge too much).
Total UK domestic demand is only 30% of capacity, the rest being used up by indurstry (you know, keeping the PC's and lights on in offices at night,
that sort of thing).
In the event of there being a power crisis, domestic supply supercedes industrial supply and many industries have back up generation anyway, which the
Grid can actually call upon to add power back into the network. This is called STOR (Short Term Operational Reserve) and although only meant to be a
temporary stop gap in the event of a sudden loss of generating capacity or a spike in demand, it is one of the many tools available to ensure domestic
Basically, this shouldn't have been a problem, but the Government has dithered so long about how to generate power it's made critical issue where
there shouldn't have been one.
It's cutting it fine in relation to bringing new plants online and taking others off. I expect they'll fudge it and "extend" the life times of
some older plants while they obfuscate more and blame the Tories.
EDIT: Checked with my colleaguies at the Grid and total "load factor" of the UK is currently around 70% of capacity, so currently there is no need
[edit on 26/9/08 by stumason]