National Grid rules out UK-wide blackout plan from tomorrow

National Grid has decided not to run its first-ever real-life initiative to pay households to reduce their electricity use on Tuesday evening.

National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) had said earlier on Monday that it was considering activating its Demand Flexibility Service for the first time to help reduce the risk of blackouts on Tuesday. It has previously run two tests on the programme.

The scheme launched at the start of this month and is set up to pay households and businesses to reduce the amount of electricity that they use. This can help take strain off the system when supply is tight, as it was expected to be on Tuesday.

England will play Wales in the two teams’ final game in the group stages of the World Cup at 7pm on Tuesday.

The Demand Flexibility Service – which is designed to avoid blackouts - works by asking households to reduce the amount of electricity they use at certain times, and promises to pay them for any reductions they make.

The scheme was launched earlier this month and has already been tested twice, but has not yet run live.

Even though wind is coming back for tomorrow evening’s peak, slow return of nukes in France plus lower temperatures may mean that there is a reduction in available imports across the interconnectors

EnergyAppSys

It comes as forecasts projected a large drop in the amount of power that Britain will be able to import from France.

It will mean that the difference between the amount of electricity available for households and businesses and the amount they will use during peak times will be tight.

“Even though wind is coming back for tomorrow evening’s peak, slow return of nukes in France plus lower temperatures may mean that there is a reduction in available imports across the interconnectors,” according to consultancy EnergyAppSys.

The forecasters also warned that margins will be tight in both Britain and France on Monday evening, meaning both countries will need to import power from abroad.

France has been facing months of problems with its nuclear power plants, which generate around three quarters of the country’s electricity.

More than half of the nuclear reactors run by state energy company EDF have closed due to maintenance problems and technical issues.

It has added to a massive energy crisis in Europe as the country faces a winter without its old gas supplier Russia.

National Grid said that it would decide by 2.30pm on Monday whether to activate the Demand Flexibility Service.