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National Grid issues – then cancels – electricity shortage warning

November 22, 2022

By Paul Homewood

h/t Philip Bratby



A snippet from today’s Telegraph:




It certainly is not particularly cold – temperatures this evening here in Sheffield are expected to be 6C.

Demand is currently at 38 GW, and we can expect that to peak at 47 GW or more during winter.

As ever, the real problem is the lack of dispatchable capacity and unreliability of wind power.


  1. November 22, 2022 5:00 pm

    I can’t wait to see what will happen in winter. I’m all prepared.

    • John Hultquist permalink
      November 22, 2022 8:24 pm

      I’m all prepared.
      You’ve rented a cottage near Costa del Sol?

      • November 22, 2022 8:27 pm

        LPG Generator, oil-fired boiler with full oil-tank, woodburner with full log store, camping stoves etc etc.

  2. November 22, 2022 5:16 pm

    I suspect they did it to test the water – quite a common scenario nowadays. They probably wanted to make sure that the warning system worked and also needed to gauge public response.

  3. GeoffB permalink
    November 22, 2022 5:17 pm

    I have put back cooking dinner to 7pm, so as to NOT help out, oven on.
    ot. Did you see the twat that runs OFGEM.. jonathan brearley has reprimanded the suppliers for not helping people that cannot pay, when his stupid green policies have caused most of the problems.(He co wrote the climate change act before running OFGEM,) He blames putin tho, just what does it take to get fired.

    • November 22, 2022 5:24 pm

      They never get fired. They are given a gong and a big pension.

      • 186no permalink
        November 22, 2022 5:55 pm

        100% . Just like the apparatchiks who ruin the NHS, amongst other public sector organisations, promise to “learn the lessons” from the highly critical independent report into some crisis “on their watch” which occurs during their tenure, only to quietly move on, attend the selection board for their next role which is -? largely – populated with “like minded people” with “experience like yours” ( also known as failures). The, stone me, they get appointed to the same, very similar or promoted but rarely demoted position, get paid more and import their buddies from a previous failing incarnation to positions of management so they can all screw up again – Groundhog Day or Einsteinian Insanity? – “and press repeat”…..

        Cf Dame Margaret Hodge and Lord Deben and their previous public sector incarnations vs current roles as exemplars.

        Not all PS management do this, I readily admit; this pattern is well entrenched. And just think, their gold plated DB pensions, funded mostlyby the taxpayer ( despite what they say) get transferred without too many hitches because most if not all of these PS bodies DB schemes belong to either the Inner or Outer (former mostly) Transfer Club……a gravy train if ever there was one.

    • Dick Goodwin permalink
      November 22, 2022 6:11 pm

      A nice try at hoping to deflect the blame.

    • Martin Brumby permalink
      November 22, 2022 11:38 pm

      Of course, Jimmy Saville never got “fired”, (although not a BBC employee).
      But if Beloved Leaders like what you do, no fear of being fired.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      November 23, 2022 8:38 am

      Another self-important mediocrity helping himself to a vast taxpayer-funded salary he couldn’t hope to get in the real world. He left taxpayers exposed to huge risks -literally billions of pounds – because he was too busy with climate change to do his job. I don’t often agree with calls to fire people who make mistakes but he shoukd be fired. A terrible incompetent that has cost us dearly by missing simple issues.

  4. Mikehig permalink
    November 22, 2022 5:49 pm

    Interesting article on Watt-Logic about Norway’s concerns over its energy security:

    It seems pretty reasonable, asking why should Norway suffer as a consequence of the incompetent energy policies of other countries. Charity begins at home and all that……

    Could make life awkward here: aiui electricity imports from Norway are baked into our supply plans.

  5. dave permalink
    November 22, 2022 6:09 pm

    “He blames Putin.”

    A useful red herring – for the moment.

  6. Harry Passfield permalink
    November 22, 2022 6:44 pm

    I wonder what the ‘contingency plans were activated’ meant…What contingency plans? Back-up diesel generators?

    • Martin Brumby permalink
      November 22, 2022 11:46 pm

      Not certain today, but I can vouch for the fact that when I retired 10 years ago, at a number of closed / demolished coal mine sites, (excellent connections to the Grid), batches of very large diesel generators (ex Gulf war, apparently) popped up.
      The control system included semi-automatic start-up, so could be triggered by the relevant employee with a smartphone whilst savouring his pint at the local.

      The reckoned they only needed to run for a few hours in a year to be in profit.

  7. kjbirby permalink
    November 22, 2022 7:01 pm

    Some pressure charts are showing very slack pressure gradients over the British Isles for next Monday. If it’s cold too, there could then be a problem!

    • November 23, 2022 6:03 pm

      A lot of chilly high pressure with no wind forecast for the start of December too.

  8. Stonyground permalink
    November 22, 2022 7:34 pm

    Asda do some really good battery operated LED lights for a fiver. I’m gradually installing them around the house so we won’t be in the dark. We also have a small petrol generator that will run the kettle or the microwave. When we’re not using it for that we will still be able to have the telly on.

    • November 23, 2022 4:42 am

      I reckon that USB-powered LED lights are the best lighting technology, they consume typically only around 0.5 Watts. Plug them into mobile phone battery banks (ones that have a trickle charging mode) and they will run for many days.

  9. Mack permalink
    November 22, 2022 7:48 pm

    Ah Sheffield. Someone once said that the city, like Rome, was built on seven hills …… and that’s where all comparison ends. Probably less pickpockets in South Yorkshire than its’ Italian counterpart but where, at this time of year, solar farms of the type championed by OFGEM, are equally useless.

  10. November 22, 2022 8:46 pm

    An earlier piece about the coming cold on ZH. Scroll down for a delightful bit of nominative determinism. Oh, I’ll save you the bother:

    “Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service at the European Centre for Mid-Range Weather Forecasts”

  11. David permalink
    November 22, 2022 9:05 pm

    We had a power cut today between about 1pm and 2.15 . The website says it was a cable fault which blacked out an area between Hertford and Stevenage. Is this likely to be true?

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      November 23, 2022 3:04 pm

      Today I received notification from UK Power Networks of a “Planned Power Cut” on the 7th December between 9:30 and 15:30. They apologised for doing this in winter saying it was “exceptional” maintenance works. In reality they are actually fitting remotely operated circuit breakers allowing them to cut of supplies to the area from the press of a button. I have since threatened them with an injunction stopping this as their definition of exceptional maintenance is clearly misleading and they are acting “Ultra Vires”. There is no essential maintenance reason behind their deliberately cutting off supplies in the winter which they are normally prohibited from doing. Let’s see what happens.

  12. Graeme No.3 permalink
    November 22, 2022 9:22 pm

    A similar situation in South Australia recently where storms took down powerlines including the interconnector to Victoria. This meant that there was no way of getting rid of excess electricity from wind and solar, not that there was much of that as black clouds shut down solar and turbines shut down in the high winds. Then the winds dropped to a breeze and the sun shone so there was panic and warning of too much electricity causing blackouts, so solar panels were switched off (the latest ‘smart’ panels can be shut down remotely and a judicious jump in line voltage caused others to stop while the sun was at a peak).
    The ‘solution’ is more renewables and an interconnector to another State.

  13. November 22, 2022 9:32 pm

    Cold snap 😂

    “much tighter days ahead” – aka winter. Rumour has it there’s one every year.

  14. It doesn't add up... permalink
    November 22, 2022 11:23 pm

    There was a big turnaround in interconnectors to cover the peak. At 4a.m. we were exporting 5.1GW. By noon that dropped to zero. By 6:15 we were importing 6.25GW. Just as well demand wasn’t too high overall on the Continent, but it looks as though a lot of coal capacity was cranked up to help out. Our own capacity was quite inadequate to cope. What happens when the Continent doesn’t have anything to spare itself is when it gets really interesting.

    Last winter before Christmas we had Dunkelflaute that required the full 5.6GW of interconnectors then operating, with our generation cranked to max.

  15. November 23, 2022 1:14 am

    “Asda do some really good battery operated LED lights for a fiver. I’m gradually installing them around the house so we won’t be in the dark. ”

    I have a couple. Good price. Nice background light. I bought 4 cheap hesd torches to place round the house in case of an unexpected cut,. We have light to hand. Gas hob. And camping stove as backup for that.

    • November 23, 2022 11:29 am

      Baden-Powell would be proud of you. I’m now off to Asda.

      On the subject of power cuts, I’m thinking of getting a battery for backup for my router. Does it matter what amperage it is? Will a car battery do or are there more customised alternatives?

      • November 23, 2022 12:49 pm

        It would need to cover the wattage of the router, search for portable power stations, Jackerry has been mentioned here as a good maker, I have recently bought a Bluetti eb3a.

        Car batteries are not designed for this purpose, are quite non-portable, and don’t have a suitable output voltage.

      • Mad Mike permalink
        November 23, 2022 1:14 pm

        Thanks climanrecon

  16. Peter Lucey permalink
    November 23, 2022 9:37 am

    An FYI. The New Yorker in Dimming the Sun to stop GW…

    A long article, taking GW as a given, of course. In the end against “geo-thermal engineering”. But a wonderful example of the current nonsense!

    But nowhere is there a mention of the famous Newsweek article in 1975, where it is suggested we cover the Artic with soot to prevent Global Cooling 🙂

  17. Mad Mike permalink
    November 23, 2022 11:20 am

    I know little about electricity and even less about the Grid but this morning I had to turn the temperature control on my electric shower a fair way round the dial to get a normal temperature. Is there any way the Grid could be weakening the power of the electricity it supplies? If it can do that it might be one way it is trying to conserve resources.

    • teaef permalink
      November 23, 2022 6:37 pm

      Could be higher water pressure

  18. November 23, 2022 1:25 pm

    ” know little about electricity and even less about the Grid but this morning I had to turn the temperature control on my electric shower a fair way round the dial to get a normal temperature. ”

    More likely to be a cooler temp on the cold supply as we enter winter IMO. Thus requiring more power to warm it up.

  19. Mikehig permalink
    November 23, 2022 5:06 pm

    More detail on yesterday’s capacity notification:

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