The UK’s National Grid is expected to enact their emergency UK Blackout plan tomorrow
Electricity supplies is expected to be tight at peak times, so the Grid’s preparing to ask households to reduce their usage
British households could be paid to reduce their energy usage on Tuesday evening to help reduce the strain on the National Grid, thanks to grid’s new “Demand Flexibility Service”, which is expected to be ran tomorrow.
National Grid’s “Demand Flexibility Service” (DFS) is designed to help the grid to avoid blackouts by paying consumers to reduce their electricity demand below certain levels. This reduced electricity usage helps to lower the power input that the National Grid needs at peak times, hopefully keeping the supply and demand of electricity in sync.
The Demand Flexibility Service was launched earlier this month and has already been tested twice. Now, it looks like the system will soon face its first major test. Currently, payments for reduced energy usage through the Demand Flexibility Service is only available to customers of certain electricity providers who have opted into the service and have a smart meter installed.
Why is the DFS expected to be used tomorrow?
So why is the UK expected to enact a major blackout plan? The short answer is France’s nuclear power plants. To be more precise, France’s nuclear power generators are currently having issues meeting France’s power needs, which means that France currently needs to import a lot of power from abroad.
To reduce the country’s need to imported fuels (like Russian natural gas), France has been trying to get its entire fleet of nuclear power plants operating at its fullest potential. Sadly, turning on France’s older nuclear plants has not been an easy process. Currently over half of France’s nuclear power plans have been closed for maintenance, and around three quarters of France’s power comes from nuclear sources.
Until France’s nuclear power plants are back online, France needs to import a lot of power from neighbouring nations, which is problematic for the UK. Currently, the UK cannot rely on electricity from neighbouring nations to make up for any supply shortfalls, which is why the UK is currently doing what it can to help avoid a potential blackout situation.
A tough winter for Europe
This year, Europe faces an energy crisis as the continent weans itself of Russian gas, and that means that nations will likely need to take drastic action to avoid blackouts this winter. These actions include the UK’s use of their Demand Flexibility Service, which expects consumers to reduce their energy use to avoid blackouts.