Skip to content

Grid Issues Urgent Call For Extra Power

November 4, 2015

By Paul Homewood   


h/t Paul2





And it’s only November!!


The Grauniad report:



National Grid has issued an urgent request for energy companies to make more power available after multiple breakdowns at UK power stations.

It has asked energy companies to supply an extra 500 megawatts (MW) between 4.30pm and 6pm on Wednesday, a period when power demand surges, with some people still at work and others arriving home and turning the lights on.

National Grid sent a “notification of inadequate system margin” (NISM), a warning that there was not enough power in reserve to keep the lights on in the event of an unforeseen emergency. But it insisted there was no threat of imminent power cuts. It was the first such notice to be issued by National Grid since 2012; there were 10 in 2005 and eight in 2008.

At the time it issued the notice, National Grid was forecasting peak demand for Wednesday night to be 48,275MW. But the company played down the significance of the warning. “This is part of our standard toolkit for balancing supply and demand and is not an indication there is an immediate risk of disruption to supply or blackouts,” a spokesman said. “It indicates that we would like our power held in reserve to be higher.”

An NISM is not the strongest warning National Grid can issue. It falls below a high risk of demand reduction (HRDR) and the highest level, a demand control imminent (DCI) warning.

National Grid said last month it had the “right tools” to avoid blackouts this winter, which has been predicted to be unusually cold. Its contingency plans include paying factories to shut down operations and getting energy companies to keep mothballed power plants on standby.


For some reason, the Guradian forgot to mention how much power is coming from wind at the moment:


ScreenHunter_2997 Nov. 04 16.44


No wind, no sun, no electricity? Now who would have thunk that?

  1. November 4, 2015 5:14 pm

    But it’s only October & it’s warm. Alarm bells anyone?

    • November 4, 2015 6:05 pm

      November. But it’s still warm

  2. November 4, 2015 5:17 pm

    Another report in the FT mentions that: “The request drove electricity prices spiralling. Publicly available data showed Severn Power has sold electricity to National Grid at £2,500 per MWh — 40 times the normal price of around £60.”

    Will the taxpayer be funding this windfall for suppliers?

    The report also says NG that If businesses fail to respond, “National Grid would be able to cut the voltage supplied to homes, resulting in flickering lights and kettles taking longer to boil.”

    Surely energy saving bulbs will just fail to light – though I would imagine LEDs would be OK? And the old tungsten bulbs (of which I have a large supply) will be dimmer?

    It seems the chickens are coming home to roost.

    • Joe Public permalink
      November 4, 2015 6:14 pm

      “Will the taxpayer be funding this windfall for suppliers?” You can bet electricity users (i.e. every bill payer) will pay. Twice over, ‘cos domestic bill-payers also pay the costs passed to industrial & commercial users, via higher costs of the goods & services bought.

    • Joe Public permalink
      November 4, 2015 6:26 pm

      £2,500 per MWh = £2.50/kWh

      My electricity supplier is charging <10p/kWh. Delivered.

    • Dave Nunn permalink
      November 7, 2015 1:28 pm

      Anything with a switching power supply (eg LED lamp, TV, computer, charger) will take the same power irrespective of voltage. Reduced voltage would simply increase I2R losses in the grid transmission.

  3. November 4, 2015 5:33 pm

    Current Wind generation 0.28GW. Solar it is dark! Demand 47.37GW. Brilliant!

  4. November 4, 2015 5:50 pm

    Typical Guardian reader’s comment –

    “This is another example of why the governments decision to sabotage the wind and solar industries is so stupid. ”

    Even after he was told the generation figures and that it was currently dark

  5. Marco permalink
    November 4, 2015 10:39 pm

    Surprisingly this has not made main news page of BBC website

  6. rifleman1853 permalink
    November 4, 2015 10:42 pm

    “National Grid has for the first time used ‘last resort’ emergency powers to tell companies to reduce their electricity usage in an effort to avoid the risk of blackouts. It asked firms to reduce their power demand immediately, issuing a so-called demand-side balancing reserve (DSBR) notice to companies that have signed a contract to say they will take part in the demand reduction scheme. A spokesman said this measure had never been used before, while the grid has previously said it would ‘only be used as a last resort, after all other actions available in the market have been exhausted’.”

    So it’s November, and fairly mild for this time of year, we aren’t suffering from high winds blowing down power lines – but the only way the National Grid can keep the lights on is by shutting down a sizeable chunk of industry. So, what happens when the temperature really plummets, and we get a few simultaneous equipment or transmission line failures?

    I dunno about the rest of you, but I fire up my Tilley lamps and camping stoves, whilst the lights go out all over England.

    “Shortly before 6pm, National Grid issued a further statement saying suppliers had responded to its urgent request and 40MW of extra power had been ordered, so the NISM had been withdrawn. ‘This is one of the routine tools that we use to indicate to the market that we would like more generation to come forward for the evening peak demand period,’ the company said.”

    What you call a ‘routine tool’, matey, the rest of us call a clear admission that you haven’t got the equipment to cope with predictable breakdowns – and you haven’t even the guts to admit that you and successive governments between you have screwed up.

  7. catweazle666 permalink
    November 5, 2015 11:48 pm

    Wow, and it’s only the beginning of November too!

    Good job we got rid of all those nasty filthy aluminium and steel furnaces isn’t it?


  1. Grid Issues Urgent Call For Extra Power | NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT | Cranky Old Crow

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: