Energy

Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 16th December 2014.

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Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby Conservative, Brighton, Kemptown

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what recent estimate he has made of the level of the UK's surplus energy (a) generation and (b) storage capacity; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Portsmouth, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

During the winter I assess the levels of energy generation and storage capacity on a weekly basis. This week we were expecting to have between 11 and 12GW of spare electricity generating capacity and our gas storage started the week at over 90% full. I will reassess the levels of both next week.

A further 1.1GW of electricity generating capacity has been procured by National Grid for the Winter of 2014/15 that can be relied upon when we need it, in order to help us comfortably meet Reliability Standards that have been previously set. This consists of keeping otherwise mothballed or closed plant in reserve and a small amount of voluntary electricity demand reduction by large energy users.

More widely, we have undertaken extensive assessments of the levels of gas storage available to the UK market and published the results of that very detailed work in September 2013: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/236757/DECC_FI_Final_report_09072013.pdf.

The overall conclusion of this assessment was that intervention in the gas storage market was not desirable.

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