Is there a risk of blackouts this winter?

This week EDF Energy announced that two nuclear power plants may not restart until late December, heightening the risk of blackouts this winter1. Never has it been more important to manage our energy use effectively, says Paul Hardy, managing director at Baxi.
In an age where energy is seemingly available on tap, the thought of a blackout is a modern day nightmare. Never are we more dependent on power than in the winter, when lighting and heating are the lifeblood of the country. But scarily enough, the chance of a blackout is now very real.
The press have warned of a blackout for the last couple of years. However, thanks to a series of problems linked to five power plants, the margin of ‘spare’ generation is worryingly low – making the risk all the greater.
With the National Grid seeking emergency supplies of electricity and EDF battling to get its reactors back online, it’s easy to forget that the solution, at least in part, lies with each and every one of us.
Effective management of energy use at work and in the home is absolutely vital in protecting resources for all of us.
The more we can do to link blackout scares to everyday energy use, the better. Equally, alternative technologies like micro-Combined Heat Power (CHP) boilers, which generate electricity while heating the home, are a perfect way to reduce reliance on the national grid.
1. BBC News, 10 September 2014

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