Sanctions War: British National Grid Warns Country Faces Rolling Blackouts Come Winter

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Britons face regular, rolling blackouts in order to preserve the overall integrity of the gas and electricity network this winter.

National Grid, the privately-owned business which runs — and owns — much of Britain’s gas and electricity transmission network, has warned that energy supply shortages could see regular three-hour blackouts strike the country, as the effects of the ongoing Russo-Western sanctions look to worsen.

“The invasion of Ukraine by Russia and resultant reduction in gas supplies to continental Europe has created unprecedented uncertainty for energy markets,” the company said it a recent outlook on the gas situation, reported by Bloomberg.

“No one can accurately predict what will happen this winter against such a complex and uncertain backdrop,” they warned.

“As an expert and responsible operator of Great Britain’s electricity system it is incumbent on us to… factor in external factors and risks beyond our control like the unprecedented turmoil and volatility in energy markets in Europe and beyond,” explained of National Grid’s electricity system executive director, Fintan Slye, in comments quoted by The Telegraph.

The power cuts would actually be instigated by National Grid itself as part of a so-called “load-shedding” strategy, with the company arguing that blackout rota could be “necessary to ensure the overall security and integrity of the system across Great Britain.”

They hope to avoid such a scenario by arranging to pay businesses and households £10 a day, starting from November and ending next March, to reduce their energy consumption by an amount that will, it is hoped, allow the network to cope with various shortage projections.

National Grid is keen for Britain, which has for years pursued a net-zero green agenda that has seen coal-fired power plants shut down, fracking for shale gas banned, and North Sea oil and gas extraction stymied, lean on liquified natural gas (LNG) imports to stave off a winter crisis.

This could be good news for the United States, a significant exporter of LNG which is already looking to exploit gaps in the European market as a result of Russian gas exports having been massively pared back.

Regardless, National Grid is not alone in fearing that gas shortages could have serious consequences, with Ofgem, the government energy regulator, warning of a potential “Gas Supply Emergency” after one power station operator wrote to them expressing fear that supplies could run so low that they would no longer be able to operate — and suffer heavy fines for not meeting their contractual generation obligations as a result.

“If gas-fired power stations have their gas supply curtailed in the event of a Gas Supply Emergency, they will likely be exposed to Imbalance Charges (plus associated Credit requirements) if they have sold their power ahead of time and are expected to deliver this power,” Ofgem wrote, confirming that they would urgently consider remedies to such an outcome.

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