Record low forecast for summer peak power demand

National Grid is predicting record low demand for electricity this summer, although demand for gas is expected to rise.

The grid operator forecasts summer minimum electricity demand of 18.1GW, with peak demand hitting 35.7GW.

Average daily demand for gas is expected to sit at 200 million cubic metres per day (mcm/d), while total gas demand is predicted to reach 36.5 billion cubic metres (bcm).
The price of gas is expected to be lower than the price of coal and so National Grid expects higher demand for gas this summer to fuel combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power stations.

Renewables turned off

The grid operator thinks that renewable energy generators will produce more electricity than is needed this summer. Based on current information it anticipates that during some weeks there will be more inflexible generation on the system than is needed to meet demand.

National Grid said in order to balance the system, it may be necessary, during these weeks, for it to instruct inflexible generators to reduce their output.

Cordi O’Hara, Director,UK System Operator said: “For electricity, we expect to see further falls in both peak and minimum demands this summer. In response, we’re exploring new demand side services, which offer opportunities for large energy users to voluntarily shift their electricity usage in exchange for payment.”

O’Hara said that as supply becomes increasingly dependent on weather, the organisation was also working with a number of stakeholders to improve its solar generation forecasting.

Generation capacity expected to be over 67GW

The peak demand forecast for high summer is the lowest on record and compares with 37.5GW in 2015.

Daytime minimum demand is expected to be 23.5GW, lower than the 2015 minimum of 25.8GW. Minimum summer demand is forecast to be 18.1GW.

This is a slight decrease from the 2015 demand of 18.4GW. Generation capacity for the summer is expected to be 67.43GW.

Based on forward prices, National Grid expects there to be net imports of electricity on the interconnectors from Continental Europe to GB and net exports of electricity on the interconnectors from GB to Ireland during peak times, switching to imports overnight.

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