National Grid has announced that it expects the capacity margin for the UK to be 6.6% this winter which is up from the 5.5% it had initially predicted. They have also reiterated that they are “confident” the right tools have been put into place to handle the supply and demand on the electricity system.
The UK system operator issued its Winter Outlook report on 14th October, which stated that the improvement was due to the availability of Eggborough coal-fired plant and a decrease in the power exported to Ireland because of an outage on the East-West interconnector. Normalised transmission system demand is predicted to peak at 52GW. Analysis into forward electricity prices suggests there will be net imports of electricity to the UK at peak times during winter 16-17 from Continental Europe.
Gas demand for winter this year is expected to be lower than in 2015, which is also driven by lower export to Ireland and Continental Europe. However, demand for gas in electricity generations is expected to increase.