Major half-time spike in electricity demand expected during England final

Fans watching England v Denmark (PA Wire)
Fans watching England v Denmark (PA Wire)

A major spike in electricity demand is anticipated at half-time in the England Euro 2020 final against Italy

National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) said it expects a two gigawatt (GW) electricity demand pick-up during Sunday’s match at Wembley.

The figure is the equivalent to around 1.1 million kettles boiling at the same time, and up to 600 megawatts (MW) more than the increase recorded at half-time when England played Denmark in the European Championship semi-final on Wednesday,

The expected spike also far exceeds the 800 MW of extra power demand seen at half-time when England beat West Germany in the World Cup final of 1966.

However, it is not predicted to beat the all-time record surge of 2.8 GW seen at the end of the penalty shoot-out when England lost to Germany in 1990’s World Cup semi-final.

Gavin Brown, acting head of national control for the ESO, said “TV pick-ups aren’t the same today as they used to be.

People consume content through the internet, via satellite and on-demand, so there isn’t one single “end time” anymore.

“So whilst it’s unlikely we’ll ever see the same surge that we did in 1990, we do anticipate one of the biggest TV picks-ups that we have seen in recent years as the nation comes together behind the England team.”

National Grid ESO said major events such as sports fixtures, popular shows and royal weddings that draw large television audiences can often produce a surge in electricity demand during ad breaks when people make a cup of tea and open the fridge at the same time.

The operator insisted it is able to meet any spike by drawing on power station reserves to deliver additional supplies if needed.

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