Up to 25% of companies forecast power shortages over next few years

A quarter of all medium-sized companies expect to experience power outages over the next few years, as generation capacity dwindles and no replacements are being added to the grid.

A recent poll by Edison Investment Research of directors of more than 300 UK listed companies with a market value of up to £2bn revealed that 26% of them expect power shortages in the UK over the next few winters.

The National Grid is very well aware of this situation and is considering several options to address it, including setting up a Demand Side Balancing Reserve service (DSBR) in order to sign up large energy users who have the flexibility to reduce their electricity use – for example by switching to back-up generation – when demand is at its highest between 4pm and 8pm on winter weekdays.

This will be in return for a payment, and on a purely voluntary basis and will help stimulate a (Demand Side Response or DSR) market which ultimately will help keep energy system costs down for consumers by avoiding the need to build additional power stations to service “peak” demands.

Fraser Thorne, Managing Director at Edison Group, commented: “UK business confidence is on a high and companies are investing for growth. However should their fears over power shortages materialise, UK plcs will have more acute operational concerns to worry about.

“With one in four UK midcaps worrying that they face power shortages over the coming winters, whoever is in government over the coming years knows that a priority remains in providing a long term, sustainable energy policy to guarantee the energy security businesses’ need to drive economic growth.

“The choice is simple: either Britain invests in sustainable infrastructure for a secure energy supply or we risk business and economic insecurity.”

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