Britain will have enough electricity over summer – National Grid – Reuters

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LONDON (Reuters) – Britain should have enough electricity to meet demand over the summer months, the country’s National Grid Electricity System Operator said on Thursday, as reduced demand due to the coronavirus is likely to outweigh potential supply impacts.
The government has ordered sweeping measures to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, shutting down much of the economy and asking people to stay inside and avoid non-essential travel.
The virus could affect the availability of some power generation due to staff shortages, maintenance contractor availability or through disruptions to supply chains, National Grid ESO said in its Summer 2020 outlook.
But any potential supply impacts would be offset by a significant reduction in demand.
“We want to reassure everyone that we do not expect the operation of the electricity system to be adversely affected,” said Roisin Quinn, ESO Head of National Control.
Electricity demand could fall by as much as 20% compared with business as usual this summer due to the restrictions on businesses and homes or by as little as 4%, the report said.
Industry has the largest scope for a significant reduction in demand as factories shut, however this is also the area that is most difficult to assess.
“A higher rate of economic slowdown will result in more industrial shutdowns,” the report said.
The minimum electricity generation expected over the period is 34.9 gigawatts (GW) compared with maximum expected demand of 32.8 GW, the report said.
In a separate report the National Grid Gas System Operator said it was also confident the country would have sufficient gas supplies over the summer.
The figures in its Gas Summer Outlook 2020, also published on Thursday were compiled before the coronavirus outbreak and therefore do not take into account the impact of the measures put in place by the UK Government.
Gas demand is also expected to fall as a result of the measures.
Reporting by Susanna Twidale; Editing by Susan Fenton and Jane Merriman
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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