Apr 10, 2018

National Grid warns of action to cut big UK power plants’ output

National Grid has warned operators of large gas and nuclear power stations that they may be instructed to curtail output this summer to accommodate rising amounts of wind and solar generation. The UK electricity system operator forecast that demand on the national transmission network would fall close to record lows in the coming months because of the growing supply of power from small solar and wind farms which bypass the grid. The forecast highlights the rapid transformation under way in the UK energy system, and others around the world, as the rise of renewable power and the shift to local "Distributed" generation erodes revenues for traditional fossil fuel and nuclear power stations, as well as for system operators such as National Grid. Together, this surging local renewable generation is reducing demand for electricity from the traditional, centralised power stations which feed the high-voltage transmission system operated by National Grid. The intermittency of wind and solar output, coupled with the lack of visibility that National Grid has over locally distributed power, is making it increasingly difficult for the grid operator to predict and manage the electricity system.

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