MOSCOW, 6 Oct — PRIME. In the UK, systematic three-hour blackouts are possible in the winter if Russia cuts off gas supplies to Europe and colder weather sets in in the United Kingdom, follows from an emergency plan presented by the British power grid operator National Grid on Thursday.
According to the first scenario of the plan, if energy supplies from France, Belgium and the Netherlands are stopped due to problems with the supply of Russian energy resources, the UK may use additional coal-fired stations, which will help to receive about 2 gigawatts of energy, the document says. To that end, National Grid has already secured contracts with energy companies EDF, DRAX and Uniper that will allow West Burton A, Ratcliffe and Drax coal-fired power plants to generate additional power this winter if needed.
Under the second, “unlikely” scenario, the measures from the first scenario would be supplemented by systematic three-hour blackouts, which should help “ensure the overall safety and integrity of the electricity supply system throughout the UK.” As noted by the Guardian newspaper, this measure should reduce overall electricity consumption by 5%. In addition, National Grid is currently consulting with energy companies about the possibility of running an energy savings campaign from November 2022 to March 2023, the document says. The campaign will encourage consumers and businesses to reduce energy consumption or use it “off peak periods” for electricity supply.
The emergency plan, which must first be approved by King Charles III on the advice of the energy secretary, will also include a warning to the British public the day before the blackouts, the Guardian says.
Earlier, the Guardian newspaper reported that the British authorities may urge the public to start saving energy due to concerns about possible power outages this winter. According to the newspaper, British ministers are discussing the launch of a campaign to reduce energy consumption this winter. The calls, which are being discussed by the Energy Department, energy companies and the UK’s national grid operator National Grid, could include lowering home heating temperatures and using appliances at night, times when energy demand is lower.