Britain plans for organised blackouts in January: Bloomberg

Electricity capacity shortfall could total about a sixth of peak demand



Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Wed 10 Aug 2022, 6:53 AM

Britain is making plans for organised blackouts for industry and households over the winter, when cold weather may coincide with gas shortages, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

Electricity capacity shortfall could total about a sixth of peak demand, according to the government's latest "reasonable worst-case scenario", even after emergency coal plants have been put to use, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the government's planning.

Under that outlook, coupled with below-average temperatures and reduced electricity imports from Norway and France, Britain could be exposed to four days in January, during which it may need to trigger emergency measures to conserve gas.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Bloomberg report comes after the Bank of England warned last week that Britain was on course for a long recession, as unprecedented energy prices were pushing inflation towards 13 per cent. However, political response has been hampered by the race to select a new prime minister on September 5.

While European governments seek to conserve gas usage and increase storage following the Russia-Ukraine conflicts, Britain's government has split into warring camps led by Foreign Minister Liz Truss and Former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak. The two contenders for the next prime minister, have clashed over how to respond.

Charities, business groups and politicians have called on Truss and Sunak to set out how they would help the Britons cope with a forecast 82 per cent rise in energy prices, in October.

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