Britain’s National Grid expects to meet electricity demand this winter

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Britain’s National Grid said on Thursday it expects to have sufficient available capacity to meet demand for electricity this winter, and will keep exploring additional availability amid continued risks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Despite the disruption of flows of gas from Russia because of the war in Ukraine, Europe and Britain have ended the winter of 2022/23 with a record volume of gas in storage, thanks to a mild winter, demand reduction and increased exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

This leaves much less refill needed ahead of the next heating season in 2023/24 and storage is expected to be full by August/September.

In an early winter outlook published on Thursday, National Grid’s Electricity System Operator (ESO) said that a current Base Case margin is 4.8 gigawatts, or around 8 percent, which is slightly higher than this time last year but is relatively in line with margins across previous winters.

“We expect there to be sufficient operational surplus in our Base Case throughout winter,” ESO said in the report.

“In light of the continued risks and uncertainties relating to the Russian invasion of Ukraine the ESO continues to explore the potential availability of additional operational options,” it added.

In a separate report, the UK’s National Gas Transmission company said on Thursday that its forecasts for an 8 percent reduction in local distribution zone (LDZ) demand, which mostly reflects heating demand, due to high energy prices is not expected to change and is set to continue at similar levels to last winter.

It also said that total demand for power generation will continue to decrease slightly as more renewables come online.

Interconnector flows to Europe are expected to be higher than average, but less than last winter given that there is likely to be additional LNG import capability in Europe.

High levels of LNG supply are expected to continue, enabling exports to continental Europe at times of low demand in Britain.

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