LONDON (Reuters) – Britain must have enough electricity to meet demand during the summer months, the country’s National Electricity System Operator (ESO) said on Thursday, although peak demand may be slightly higher last year.
Electricity demand is not expected to be as low as last year, when Britain was in strict block during the spring and early summer due to COVID-19 and will be more in line with previous years, said the National Grid ESO in its annual summer forecast.
Peak electricity demand is expected to be 32 gigawatts (GW), 500 megawatts (MW) higher than last summer. This compares to around 50 GW in the winter months.
Minimum electricity demand is forecast at 17.2 GW, but not as low as last summer’s 16.2 GW, as COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be gradually relaxed in Britain from April to June, said the report.
Last year, in the spring and early summer, the minimum demand for electricity fell by 17% compared to pre-coronavirus expectations.
National Grid’s annual summer forecast report is designed to help the energy market prepare for the summer.
“While there remains a degree of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the associated impact on demand, the summer of 2021 is not expected to be as operationally challenging as the spring / summer of 2020 and we hope that the necessary tools will be available to enable efficient operation of the system, “said the National Grid ESO.
The National Grid ESO said it expects an increase in the likelihood of periods when only variable generation, that is, renewable energies, will exceed minimum demand between mid-June and early August.
In such cases, it would request pumped storage units to increase demand, reduce flexible wind energy and trade would reduce interconnector import levels.
(Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by David Evans)
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