After Ofgem’s strongly worded warnings that the risk of power outages is increasing back in June, The National Grid’s statement yesterday that the risk of blackouts will be greater this winter than at any time during the past six years came as no surprise to us.
The problem is, despite the reiterated warnings about the risk of power outages, the rhetoric still seems to be very much geared towards highlighting the role of energy companies in securing supply, rather than prompting the business community to prepare for the worst case scenario. The National Grid has stated that it is “comfortable” with the margin of supply capacity and that “as long as the market responds in the way that it has done historically then we will be absolutely fine”. The question is…… what happens if the market does not respond in the traditional way?
Even a cursory look at the facts brings home the seriousness of the situation:
• Demand is increasing
• Coal fired power stations are being de-commissioned
• Some gas-fired power stations are being mothballed due to economic pressures
• There are not enough new wind farms providing electricity for the grid
• There is no clear strategy in place drive through replacement infrastructure
The result of all of this is that the UK does not have energy self-sufficiency which puts our security of supply in a very precarious position. For UK businesses that rely on an unbroken power supply this can only mean one thing: the risk of business interruption issues if there is no standby power system in place is unacceptably high. It’s time to stop weighing up the rhetoric and start considering your energy resilience requirements.