Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of Adrian Sanders Adrian Sanders Liberal Democrat, Torbay

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to increase the safety margin of electricity supply above peak demand.

Photo of Michael Fallon Michael Fallon The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills , Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The Government, National Grid and Ofgem are taking co-ordinated short and medium-term actions to ensure that, as capacity margins are likely to tighten in the middle of the decade, any risks to security of supply are minimised.

National Grid already has capacity available through the Short-Term Operating Reserve to keep the system in balance. This capacity is there as back-up in the case of unexpected events.

In addition, on 19 December 2013, Ofgem approved a request from National Grid to extend the existing system balancing tools to manage any short-term risks in the middle of the decade.

In the medium-term, the Government are legislating for a Capacity Market, which will deliver capacity from 2018-19, subject to state aid clearance. This will help drive the new investments we need to ensure sufficient capacity is available.

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