In May 2022, GB News reported that “Six Million Brits could face power cuts this winter with Government planning electricity rationing.”
As many as six million homes could experience power outages this winter, according to reports, and the government is preparing preparations for rationed electricity if supply problems worsen.
The Times has reported that if Russia cuts off more supplies to the EU, government modelling of a “realistic” worst-case scenario anticipates severe gas shortages in the winter. According to the publication, restrictions on industrial gas consumption, including gas-fired power plants, could be put in place, leading to a shortage of electricity.
As a result, six million houses would experience electricity limits that could last longer than a month, mostly during morning and evening peak times.
A Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson told the PA news agency the UK “has no issues with either gas or electricity supply, and the Government is fully prepared for any scenario, even those that are extreme and very unlikely to pass”.
“Thanks to a massive £90 billion investment in renewable energy in the last decade, we have one of the most reliable and diverse energy systems in the world,” the spokesperson added, “and unlike Europe, we are not dependent on Russian energy imports.”
However, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has asked Britain’s coal-fired power plants to postpone their planned closures due to challenges to supply security. Is coal not a threat to the environment now?
The request to keep operating the power plants at Drax, Ratcliffe, and West Burton, which were scheduled to shut down in September, was made “in the light” of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a government official told PA.
Even though the British government is committed to ending the use of coal power by October 2024, the spokesperson said that for now, they may need to make their remaining coal-fired power stations available to provide additional backup electricity this coming winter, if the need arises.
In the event of an energy outage, the European Commission has created an emergency plan which it had to present on May 18, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.
The worst-case situation in which the import of Russian hydrocarbons is stopped before Europe has identified sufficient and alternative sources of supply is covered by the strategy, which calls for certain actions to be taken by EU member states.
According to reports, the strategy is based on the Security of Supply Regulation, which has been in effect since 2017 and may be expanded to cover oil under specific circumstances. In this instance, a campaign to cut energy use by both citizens and states has been started in parallel with the institutional level operations.
Will Malta, together with the rest of Europe, experience blackouts this coming winter? While European media is discussing these issues in the light of the war in Ukraine, including the use of coal to fire their power stations, in Malta we are dead silent about the impact that this water will and is having on our energy sector.