Electricity generation

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For the fourth year running, the system operator at National Grid has raised its outlook for the de-rated electricity supply margin over the coming winter, this time to 7.8GW – or 12.9 per cent. The figure is up from 7.1GW – or 11.7 per cent – in last year’s forecast.
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As more details emerge on the causes of last Friday’s power cut, the former head of engineering at National Grid argues the blackout should prompt a complete rethink of its strategy for dealing with outages and the growing volatility of the electricity system.
Analysis
National Grid Group chief executive John Pettigrew responds to criticism following Friday's power cut, which left hundreds of thousands of customers without electricity and commuters stranded during the evening rush hour. 
Comment

Latest in Electricity generation

Elexon, the administrator for the Balancing and Settlement Code, has announced it is returning £1.5 million of cost savings to trading parties. As well as achieving improvements in efficiency, the not-for-profit company said it has seen costs fall since closing its office on 12 March due to the coronavirus lockdown and in light of the economic impact of the pandemic has also decided not to award an annual pay rise to staff.
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The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) has agreed to buy a 14.3 per cent stake in the newly completed East Anglia One offshore windfarm from the Green Investment Group (GIG) for an undisclosed price. It negotiated the deal in partnership with the InfraRed European Infrastructure Income Fund 4, which will also acquire a 5.7 per cent stake in the installation from GIG.
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National Grid Electricity System Operator has completed its first competitive tender for black start services, awarding contracts worth £84 million to six providers – five of them new. The agreements cover a five-year period beginning in July 2022, although there is also an incentive to begin providing the service earlier if possible.
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Centrica has completed a £16.7 million three-year energy market trial in Cornwall that saw local and national network operators simultaneously buy flexibility for the first time. Participants in the trial, which included 200 homes and businesses, successfully traded 310MWh of flexibility over its course.
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Lloyds Bank head of power and utilities Seung-Yun Oxley discusses the role of finance in helping to achieve the UK’s wind ambitions after prime minster Boris Johnson pledged to power every home across Britain using electricity from offshore windfarms.
Opinion
Utility Week’s Tom Grimwood runs through the events of last week which saw National Grid issue two separate warnings over expected shortfalls in electricity supply and asks whether they are merely the odd blip or the sign of a deeper problem.
Analysis
The government’s plans to prevent future Contracts for Difference winners from receiving top-up payments when power prices fall below zero may have “significant unintended consequences”, Frontier Economics has warned. The consultancy said the use of the day-ahead market as a reference price would create an artificial incentive for generators to sell their power on the intraday and balancing markets. Utility Week speaks to the report's co-author Dan Roberts.
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For the second consecutive day, National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has issued an urgent call for more generation, as systems margins tightened. Last night it issued an electricity margin notice for a 466MW shortfall this evening. It followed a warning of a potential 740MW shortfall yesterday, which was eventually withdrawn.
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More than 30GW of onshore wind generation is now operational, under construction or at some stage of planning or development, new research from RenewableUK has revealed. The trade association recently published equivalent figures for offshore wind that showed 41.3GW of capacity in the works in the UK, giving a total across both sectors of almost 72GW.
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National Grid Electricity System Operator has brought an end to the emergency downward flexibility service created by the body in April to manage unusually low demand over the summer as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. The ESO thanked parties for mobilising quickly to participate despite the “challenging landscape” at the time.
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The Scottish Government has increased its offshore wind installation target to 11GW by 2030 but cautioned that high transmission costs present a barrier to achieving the goal. The target was raised from its current level of 8GW in a new offshore wind policy statement published by the Holyrood administration.
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