Renewable Energy

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 5th July 2004.

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Photo of Mr Bill Tynan Mr Bill Tynan Labour, Hamilton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what level of reserve capacity would be required in order to safeguard continuity of electricity supply from (a) tidal, (b) wave, (c) on-shore wind and (d) off-shore wind electrical generating capacity.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Minister of State (e-Commerce & Competitiveness)

This is primarily a matter for the generators.

The introduction of a significant amount of intermittent renewable generation will require additional reserve capacity in the electricity market and the use of more short-term balancing services. The amount of reserve capacity that will be required depends on the overall mix of generation technologies and the approach taken to address intermittency in different timescales (for example, storage, demand side measures or flexible generation). The electricity trading arrangements give suppliers strong financial incentives to contract ahead to meet the demands of their customers and give generators strong financial incentives to deliver the power they have contracted to provide. It is a commercial matter for all generators, including those producing from the alternative renewable technologies, how they manage the risks associated with variability in the generation from their plant. Market participants are assisted by the information that NGC provides to the market in its role as System Operator about forecast future supply and demand for electricity.

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