“Wired&Teary” over at Outdoors Magic has provided a link to a document written in June 2009 by National Grid, entitled “Operating the Electricity Transmission Networks in 2020”
Why has National Grid published this document?
National Grid operates the transmission networks across Great Britain under the terms of its Transmission Licence. This licence stipulates that we should operate the transmission networks in an efficient, economic and co-ordinated manner.
In meeting this obligation we need to be aware of the technical characteristics and capabilities of electricity generation and demand.
We must also make assumptions regarding the future behaviour of energy market participants and how this will impact on the way the transmission networks can be operated. These assumptions are relevant to other stakeholders and many of them are relevant to any assessment of security of energy supply. The location, type and size of generators connected to the transmission networks has started to change as have patterns of consumer demand. The pace and magnitude of this change will grow as emission and renewable energy targets are met. At National Grid we believe that we need to develop a plan in order to deliver these changes effectively.
This document has therefore been published at this time to set out and seek views on:
Our assessment of the technical challenges presented to us in our role in operating the networks and as 'residual balancer';
Our thoughts on how these challenges could be met; and
Our assumptions regarding how energy market participants will respond to events in operational timescales.
So – What I believe this means is that National Grid, saddled with the expected production of wind energy and the expected reduction in nuclear (ageing reactors and the new ones no-where near ready) are expecting to plug the gap when the wind doesn’t blow with electricity produced in France by nuclear power, asking industry to turn off their machines, asking households to do their laundry at night and….. Power Cuts.
And to get it from the horse’s mouth listen to the Chief Executive, National Grid on the BBC Today Programme on Radio 4, in March of this year, to hear that we are going to use power “when it is available to us.”