Businesses to be paid to be switched off
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It's reported that businesses may be paid to shut down between 4pm and 8pm on winter weekdays in the foreseeable future, to prevent blackouts to domestic users. Plans to do this have been approved by regulator Ofgem.

Mothballed old gas-fired power stations will also be paid to come back to stand-by so they can be fired up to prevent the lights going out when demand is high. Most of the old coal-fired ones won't be able to come back; they've been demolished.

The plans were worked out during the summer after it was realized that the risk of blackouts had increased because old power plants were being shut down before their replacements were built.

The spare margin between peak demand and available supply will be around 2% by winter 2015-16 if demand is high. The Grid is used to having about 5%.

A large commercial site such as a supermarket complex using two megawatts of power would receive an up-front payment of around 20,000 in return for being put on the 'switch-off' list.

More about this on www.telegraph.co.uk

Comments on the article, edited for anonymity:

    JL: Since when was the idea of producing more energy a bad idea ? Perhaps we should have a Dept of Energy (named just that) and ministers able to make a decision without running it past Jonathon Porritt first.

    a little dog: Another success for The Department for less energy.

    Determined to meet its targets for less energy, ministers continue to introduce measures that will ensure we have less energy in years to come. This doesn't come cheap, and so we should expect to make sacrifices. Fortunately the more it costs, the less we will use it, so another victory for the Department.

    Britain....Moving towards a no energy economy for tomorrow. You know it makes pence.

    concerned engineer: So far just load shedding by industrial users but why do you think the Government is so keen on domestic smart energy meters? "Demand management" ... such as peak pricing.

    FB: Ofgem said at the time that the spare margin-the buffer between peak demand and available supply-could fall as low as 2% by winter 2015-16 if demand is high.

    I watched our local news last night and Eggborough power station,coal powered, is due to close at the end of 2015.

    Eggborough produces 4% (you do the maths) of the UK`s total electricity supply but must close to meet our EU green targets.

    WC: We have below average power costs in Europe. Ed Miliband offers a populist power price freeze as an electorial bribe. If you were a power company, would you be investing in the face of such a prospect?

    BE: We close down other conventional power stations producing power reliably and replace them with wind turbines which are expensive and unreliable and require massive subsidies. Now we are paying companies not to use energy. It is complete and total madness. The lunatics are loose and running our so-called energy policy.


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