National Grid warns of lower winter power capacity

National Grid has warned that its capacity to supply electricity this winter will be at a seven-year low due to generator closures and breakdowns.

Spare electricity capacity, which ran at about 5% over the winter months last year, would be nearer 4% this year, National Grid said. Three years ago the margin was 17%. But National Grid said it has contingency plans in place to manage supply, including paying big firms to switch off on cold winter evenings.

Dismissing fears of possible electricity blackouts, energy minister Matthew Hancock told the BBC: “We are absolutely clear we are taking the measures necessary in order to have secure energy supplies this winter.”

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