The UK’s National Grid says it can meet energy demand if no-deal Brexit occurs
The National Grid has said the UK will still be able to meet domestic demand for liquid natural gas (LNG) and electricity in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
In its 2019/20 winter outlook report, the body said it had assessed how the country would be affected in “a scenario where there are no flows on the electricity interconnectors from EU exit day one”.
It said that this scenario is “very unlikely” but if it were to occur there would be “sufficient margin available” to compensate for the loss of European fuel and electricity.
“The central assumption is that in a no-deal situation there will be no impact on the trading arrangements for the gas interconnectors,” the report states.
While the UK is currently due to leave the EU on 31 October, the terms of the exit are still unclear leaving some mystery as to the impact such a shock would have on energy markets.
National Grid has been under scrutiny after a power outage in August affected 1.1 million electricity customers in Britain.
LNG imports into Britain quadrupled during the winter of 2018/19 to 6.6 million tonnes and peaked at 1.6 million tonnes in April, a multi-year high, as supplies from the USA and Russia inundated Europe and depressed prices.
National Grid expects this winter’s gas demand to be slightly higher than last winter at 52.3 billion cubic metres due to higher exports to Ireland and Europe.
Peak demand is expected in the first half of December and the operational surplus is also forecast to be at its lowest at this time.
However, the grid operator expects enough generation and interconnector imports to meet demand throughout the winter, it said.
Its analysis of forward electricity prices suggests there will be net imports from continental Europe to Britain at peak times during winter 2019/20.
It also looked at how increases in renewable electricity generation impacted gas demand. While they reduced demand from LNG and other electricity supplies overall, weather conditions such as a lack of wind or sun on peak demand days can result in greater swings for LNG consumption than in the past.
In September the government launched the first major auction for offshore wind farm space in a decad, which could see a near doubling of power output.
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