As the exclusive distributors for HGI generators in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, Generating Interest in Wadhurst is dedicated to ensuring the right equipment is installed and maintained correctly in your home. We find out why, with their help, you’ll never be left in the dark.
In October 2014, the National Grid stated that there was a 4.1% surplus of peak supply over peak demand. Since that figure was published, the power station called Didcot B was destroyed by a fire in October 2014; on May 21 2015, Didcot C was closed, not because it wasn’t working, but in order to comply with regulations relating to emissions. Didcot C’s closure reduced the Grid’s capacity by 7%.
Further, by March 2016, four more power stations will have been shut down for the same reason. They are all smaller than Didcot C, but the overall effect is that the grid simply will not be able to generate the electricity that is required, and by a substantial margin. Dungeness was due to be decommissioned in 2015, but has been reprieved until 2020, with a possible extension to 2024.
On a local level, the project of cutting back trees to prevent power cuts from falling branches ceased approximately four years ago in most areas in order to save money! What power cuts will cost the country is anyone’s guess, but it seems inevitable that it will be far greater than the cost of tree surgery.
So, what is to be done? Renewable energy sources are nowhere near able to bridge the gap. Wind and wave power are able to contribute only a minute amount. Solar power can do well on a perfect summer’s day, but really doesn’t figure on a cold, overcast winter’s day. Nuclear is not able to rescue us either. The EDF plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset is running years behind. Drax, the country’s largest power station (10%) is in some turmoil following the withdrawal of subsidies for carbon capture.
All the forecasts are that consumer and general industrial demand will continue to increase, and some major new projects such as the electrification of fast rail networks will consume huge amounts, so the gap will only increase further.
What, therefore, can we expect? Reduced voltage, certainly. Most electrical equipment will run on 210 volts, just perhaps not as well as with 230 volts, but some will not cope with it without suffering damage.
And it seems inevitable that there will be power cuts at peak times, particularly in vulnerable areas, until a better managed power supply is put in place…and that will not happen for many years.
Everything that has been set out above is in the public domain, and nothing has been exaggerated – indeed, the writer has carefully avoided any overstatement or alarmism. But he must own up to a vested interest: he is a director of Generating Interest Ltd, a company that supplies and installs generators of all kinds, and specialises in those which cut in automatically when there is a power cut, and cut out again when mains power returns. While there are a number of ways of coping with power cuts, at present a backup generator is by far the cheapest and most reliable solution.