a road map but after several years of ignoring warnings we have now reached the point where Britain’s
power generating infrastructure may not be enough to keep the lights on.
For the last several years people who have a clue and idea have looked at the state of power generation
in the UK and sounded warnings. They have been mocked as nay sayers or silenced with platitudes and
political promises that it would never happen.
Well here we are and it’s happening.
I covered this in 2013 HERE and HERE.
As a result of more than a decade of utter mismanagement of Britain’s power generating capability that
started when the Incompetent party sat on its collective hands and ignored the aging power stations
and nuclear plants until it was too late.
Then they were replaced by the Nasty party who spent the first few years singing the praises of windmills
and also bent over backwards to allow otherwise functioning power stations to be crippled or shutdown
as a result of carbon emissions rules.
Little or no effort to develop carbon capture, nothing done in any area other than wind turbines which
bring such huge financial benefits to the land owning friends of our political class while doing so little to
actually generate electricity.
By 2012 numerous people were warning that we as a nation faced power generation shortfalls, they were
ignored. Through 2013 the reports continued to come in and were ignored. Coal fired power stations were
still being shut down, more and more wind turbines were blighting the horizon. We even had a junior
minister for Energy by the name of John Hayes sacked for trying to warn the government that this was a
Well here we are in 2014, we have reached the middle of the decade which is the point where experts and
anyone who had looked at the situation said we would run into problems.
We are running into problems.
The National grid has several schemes in place as contingencies for this situation.
1. Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR). This allows large energy users to sell back the energy they would
have used at times when the electricity system needs additional power.
2. Supplementary Balancing Reserve (SBR). This is aimed at generators and large energy users making more
power available. It allows National Grid to competitively tender to ensure they have extra reserve margins
to balance the system.
3. Short Term Operational Reserve (STOR). The use of private sector companies who have generating
capacity to make up shortfalls, these are the fields of diesel generators that started being built over the last
year or so.
The National grid is quietly contacting its industrial customers and getting them to sign up to DSBR. This is
a system where industrial demand is cut in favour of household supply by paying the companies to reduce
consumption during peak demand periods. Starting today this is reality not a theoretical scheme They are
getting this in place for this winter when the first of the expected shortfalls is anticipated. The same shortfalls
in generating capacity that politicians and political parties told us would not happen, well it’s looking more
Peak demand is the afternoons and evenings, between 16:00 and 20:00 is considered the highest demand
period, going home and turning on the heating time basically. So factories shutting down at 15:30 and
sending their staff home because they will have no power.
Wow, I am getting flashbacks to the seventies. What next, the three day working week?
Oh and it’s only supposed to be in place for four years, anyone want to take bets on that?
SBR doesn't seem to be mentioned much these days, given that there doesn't seem to be any more power
available from our domestic suppliers.
STOR is the amazingly brilliant idea to pay people to have standby generating capactity that the national
grid can call upon with 20 minutes notice in order to cover for shortfalls. These are mostly diesel generators,
entire buildings full of diesel generators, fields of diesel generators. The owners are paid a fee year round to
have them on standby and are then paid when they are bought on line to generate electricity.
The irony here being that our politicians have been claiming to be green by shutting down coal fired power
stations and replacing them with wind turbines then paying to have even more polluting diesel generators
on standby for when the wind cannot generate enough energy, those calm cold winter days for example.
In the twenty first century here we are, a supposedly technologically advance, wealthy, first world nation.
Yet with all the problems that the people of this nation have to deal with we may be about to add electricity
rationing to the mix. Yes rationing. Make no mistake about it, whatever names or cute acronyms are used
this is all about rationing light and heat in Britain.
Not enough supply and too much demand so shut down the less vital customers, keep people’s homes
warm by turning of the machines in factories.
This is the end result of over a decade of slavish adherence to environmental concerns without regard to
human concerns. Save the planet, sod the people. As an Island nation we have all but abandoned wave and
tidal research despite having enough energy potential on our coasts to power Northern Europe.
We have shut down coal fired plants to save the world at a time when the rest of the world is building
hundreds of coal plants instead of working to develop the carbon capture technology that would not only
make our own coal plants cleaner but could then be sold to everyone else.
We have stood by while greed and corruption has driven the surge in wind turbines that are the least reliable
and least predictable way of generating electricity that we have.
Mothballed power stations that will them take time and a lot of money to bring back to functional state to
make up for shortfalls that were caused by them being shut down in the first place.
Well now we are looking at the results of this short sighted political leadership. Make sure you have plenty
of battery s for torches, keep a box of candles handy, get the blankets out. The next generation maybe gets
to experience what we lived through in the seventies and what our parents lived through in the forties.
Something for the Tories to consider. It’s a bit hard for a party to get re-elected if they cannot keep the
nations lights on.