Friday, January 27, 2023




Great Britain doesn’t have enough electricity to meet consumers’ needs, so the National Grid is paying people to keep their lights off and appliances unused:

The National Grid will ask households to cut their power consumption for a second day in a row as Britain’s energy supply is squeezed by cold weather.

The nation’s power operator will pay customers to refrain from using energy as part of its “demand flexibility service” tomorrow.

The scheme has been used for the first time outside testing today, paying households to reduce electricity usage between 5pm and 6pm.

The initiative aims to avert blackouts.

Well, sort of. If you take the National Grid’s money, you are voluntarily blacking yourself out. Whenever you hear the now-popular phrase “demand management,” this is what it means. Wind and solar facilities can’t supply electricity at the levels we are used to, so individual households are either bribed or forced, through rolling blackouts or other measures, to cut their electricity usage. Either way, it is a reduction in standard of living.

In the Telegraph, Ross Clark writes, “The National Grid is falling apart thanks to net zero.”

Temperatures have plummeted again, Britain is becalmed by an anticyclone, and the National Grid is warning that supply is going to be tight this evening. Coal plants are being dusted down several months after they were supposed to have closed, and the National Grid is activating what it calls its Demand Flexibility Service. This means customers signed up to the scheme can earn up to £6 per kilowatt-hour saved if they agree to turn off their appliances between 5 and 6pm.

It is not hard to spot a slight issue with this offer: the more electricity you use on a normal Monday, the easier it will be for you to cash in today. As with so many green subsidies, it perversely rewards the well-off at the expense of the poor. …
But there is a far bigger problem with trying to deal with the intermittency of wind and solar power through demand management. The gaps in supply are far too big to be filled in this way. Britain already has enough installed wind and solar capacity – 38 gigawatts of it – to theoretically meet 100 per cent of average electricity demand. On a good day, such as we had a fortnight ago, solar and wind generate more than 50 per cent of our energy needs. But this morning at 10 am it was down to 19 per cent, and at times in December it fell to less than two per cent. If you are going to try to build a grid based on wind and solar, and try to manage demand by paying people to switch their appliances off, you are going to have to chuck such enormous quantities of money at people that they are prepared to spend days on end shivering in the dark.

The trouble is that that is more or less what the Government is trying to do.

Shivering in the dark is what people did in ancient times and the medieval era. Until recently, it wasn’t something we expected in the developed world. So far, the shivering and darkness have been minimized because in a pinch, the U.K., like the U.S., burns coal and natural gas. But left-wing governments want that to stop:

At the moment we fill the gaps with gas-generated power, but once that has been removed from the grid, as the Government intends to do by 2035, all we will have to save us from unplanned blackouts is demand management – which is really just blackouts through bribery.

How long will voters stand for this? Not much longer, I suspect.

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