While there is a risk of blackouts due to electricity shortages over the coming winter, National Grid ESO is ”cautiously confident”.

The operator has released its Winter Outlook report, which this year models both the Base Case for the period 31 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, and an alternative scenario.

This alternative is new for 2022, and looks to address the variables being driven by the unprecedented turmoil and volatility in energy markets.

It looks at a hypothetical scenario where Britain is unable to import electricity from continental Europe – Britain has become a net exporter of electricity over the summer in light of tight margins in Europe.


National Grid ESO will then work through its toolbox to balance demand and generation, including using coal units it has contracted to stay online over the winter and the Demand Flexibility Service.

The Demand Flexibility Services adds potentially around 2GW+, while the coal units provide around 2.5GW.

National Grid ESO has however warned that if importing electricity was not possible, the weather was cold and the wind generation low, there may be the potential to need to interrupt supply to some customers.

This would be for a limited amount of time, in a managed and controlled manner. This could cause the operator’s Loss of Load Expectation (LOLE) to fall below three hours per year.

Read more: Current+

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