The cold weather, dubbed the ‘troll from Trondheim’, will test Britain’s energy supply as homes turn up the heat. Following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February, energy supplies to the UK and mainland Europe have been cut, putting existing supply lines to the test.
According to industry experts, the cold weather already prevailing at the beginning of the week shows that the national grid is under pressure.
Meteorologists are predicting a cold plume from the Arctic to hit the UK this week, bringing temperatures as low as -8C.
Rystad Energy analyst Fabian Roningen told The Telegraph: “Both this week and next week will give a good indication of how secure UK supply is, and we already had a taste of that on Monday and Tuesday last week.”
Ronningen said the increase in hourly energy prices as temperatures dropped across the country “is a sign of a power system under extreme stress and close to the limit.”
More homes turning on the heat for longer will put a strain on the national grid, which avoided introducing its blackout program last month.
Households up and down the nation have been warned of possible blackouts this winter as the Met Office issues an amber “severe weather” warning for freezing temperatures and the country struggles with energy demand.
National Grid boss John Pettigrew warned that blackouts could occur “on those deep dark evenings in January and February”.
Rolling blackouts will see different parts of the country experience temporary blackouts at different times of the day to limit the risk of overload and control demand.
According to National Grid, the “base case” is that the UK avoids blackouts, but concerns creep in if electricity imports are reduced with adequate gas supplies.
Nuclear capacity has now gone above 60 percent, and five more reactors are due to come online later in the week.
The UK relies on French imports to meet energy needs during the evening peak.
Jess Ralston, an analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: “We import nuclear power because they have it. We’ll start to see if that affects us this coming winter, especially in January/February.
“So far it hasn’t — we’ve been able to give them the power.”
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