National Grid: 10 per cent capacity margin over winter, plus ‘sufficient’ gas


Falling demand on the transmission system and the start of the government’s insurance policy for power have given National Grid greater headroom over winter.

The transmission system operator (SO) has forecast a margin of 10 per cent of generation over peak demand, significantly more comfortable than last year’s margin.

The forecast, at 6GW, is higher than National Grid’s previous estimates due to power generators without capacity market contracts indicating they will also be available to provide power.

As such, the SO said it is “confident that we have the right products and strategy in place to help us to balance the system, even under colder conditions than we have experienced in recent years”.

‘Sufficient gas’

National Grid said that it expects there will be sufficient gas coming into the UK to meet demand. While Centrica is to close Rough, the UK’s largest storage facility, it will enable withdrawals over winter, and anticipates 1bn cubic meters (bcm) will be taken out.

The outlook states: ‘Total gas demand for the winter is forecast at 51 bcm, with a peak demand forecast for a 1-in-20 winter of 502mcm/day. We expect there to be sufficient gas available to meet this demand.

See the full outlook here.

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  1. Even so, I would bet that the tabloids will have their annual winter headlines about all the lights being due to go out imminently…..

  2. That’s interesting since in the Capacity Market Coordination Event on 10th August BEIS announced that for 2018 the Sec. State is procuring 51.6GW of baseload capacity in the same presentation that said this would be short of peak demand by 6GW in the 2018 T-1 CM auction pre-qual that closed on 29th September.

    They also said that this T-1 will cover 17 of 26 identified cases of potential black outs modelled by the System Operator.

    Add this to the BEIS slide that said Forecast ‘stress events’ are expected to become more frequent and longer up to a two hour average and I’m filled with confidence that the messages they are putting out are consistent!!!


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