The National Grid has warned of increased risks of power shortages and “significant price spikes” this winter.
The country would face its highest risk of power shortages in five years, the Grid said in a forecast. However, the company said it was confident that there would be “enough capacity available to keep Britain’s lights on.”
Electricity prices have hit record highs thanks to a combination of high costs of running gas-powered plants and periods of low wind output, breakdowns at plants and a fire on a cable to France.
The National Grid’s annual winter outlook forecast an electricity margin of 6.6 per cent capacity, lower than the 8.3 per cent of last winter.
The margin is the amount of supply the Grid expects to have left over at peak times on average.
The company stated prices for electricity were likely to be higher in Britain than in Europe.
It said it was likely to need to issue “margin notices” over winter for periods when demand will be especially tight, which will likely trigger a rise in wholesale price.
Britain’s Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG) has asked the government and energy regulator Ofgem to tackle high prices. They said soaring prices threaten business and the government must ensure supplies are not disrupted this winter.
“The issue is not just whether the supply of gas and electricity will be available but also one of price. Energy intensive industries could simply be priced out of the market,” EIUG said in a statement on Thursday.