Electricity Generation

Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 2nd November 2015.

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Photo of Lord Stoddart of Swindon Lord Stoddart of Swindon Independent Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on 21 October (HL2529), how the loss of coal-fired generating capacity will be made up, what level of spare capacity will be maintained between 2015 and 2020, how they will ensure that disconnections or significant reductions in voltage do not occur, and whether compensation will be available to victims of such measures should they happen.

Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

From 2018, the Capacity Market will ensure that retiring plant can be replaced by new investment by providing additional secure investment for both existing and new electricity generators. In the meantime, National Grid secures adequate loss of load expectation through the Contingency Balancing Reserve in which additional power stations are held to provide security in times of system stress.

Both facilities deliver against the statutory reliability standard of 3 hours of loss of load expectation, a level as high as anywhere else in Europe. Loss of load expectation does not equate to the number of disconnections in a year, but is the estimated number of hours in a year that the System Operator (National Grid) needs to intervene in the market in order the maintain supply. For 2015/16, National Grid procured 2.4GW of reserve to deliver a loss of load expectation of 1.1 hours, sufficient to maintain security of supply even in the toughest system conditions.

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