Britain facing electricity rations this winter.
No wind for the turbines? But diesel generators are being paid to be on standby. Seriously you can’t make this stuff up.
“The chickens are coming home to roost”. So said the Ukip energy spokesman, commenting on the news that businesses are being asked to join a 1970s style energy rationing program this winter to stop Britain being plunged into darkness. Offices and factories will be offered compensation to shut down for four hours a day so that energy can instead be diverted to households.
The scheme, reported in the Daily Mail, is part of a series of measures set to be taken by National Grid which also includes asking owners of decommissioned gas, coal and oil power stations to turn them back on. Ofgem, the industry regulator, has welcomed the proposals but pointed out that “it would cost quite a bit”. It comes as the gap between energy consumption and production has narrowed to dangerous levels, leaving the system increasingly vulnerable to unexpected events.
“The Government has been crossing its fingers and hoping that it’s all fine. It’s blindingly obvious that if you have a tight market then you will be more vulnerable to shocks,” analyst Peter Atherton of Liberum Capital told the Daily Mail.
Fires at two coal stations, one in West Yorkshire, the other in Shropshire, have put those sites out of action, and a gas station in Essex has been unexpectedly closed since the summer. However, National Grid indicated that these setbacks have merely brought the deployment of this plan forward one year.