(Natural News) In an effort to conserve dwindling energy supplies, the government of Great Britain is offering cash payments to more than a million households if they agree to cut the power off for one hour between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on specific days.
The Demand Flexibility Service has warned that if people do not take the offer, it could be a lights out grid collapse situation. This seems to now be the case across Western Europe as well due to the loss of cheap and abundant Russian gas.
In a series of messages issued at the start of the week, the National Grid said it activated the load reduction for a second day after doing one on Monday, Jan. 23, as well. In case of an emergency, three coal-fired power plants are also being kept warm.
As of this writing, these three plants are online but do not appear to be putting measurable energy into the grid quite yet. The share of coal in the national power mix in the United Kingdom is still at 2.2 percent, which is the same as it was last week. (Related: Soaring energy costs threaten to shut down 60 percent of the U.K.’s manufacturing sector.)
“On Sunday #gas generated 36.3% of GB electricity followed by wind 22.5%, nuclear 15.6%, imports 13.7%, biomass 6.1%, hydro 2.2%, coal 2.2%, solar 1.4%, other 0.0% *excl. non-renewable distributed generation,” the National Grid announced on Twitter.
Wind turbines across U.K. not producing power due to lack of wind
Those who comply with the National Grid’s voluntary lights out program will receive the United States equivalent of about $25. These payments will be issued under the National Grid’s Demand Flexibility Service, which was first introduced last year after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.
Freezing temperatures in the U.K. have prompted the system to be used for the first time. And strangely enough, the authorities are asking people to turn off the power for an hour after the sun has already set, which is when temperatures usually begin to drop.
Great Britain’s many wind turbines are failing to produce enough energy to compensate for soaring demand because there has been very little wind across the islands as of late.
“Wind energy in particular has appeared to have dropped dramatically, going from making up just under 58 percent of the U.K.’s electricity supply one week ago to only 25 percent on Saturday, pushing the country back onto more reliable alternatives,” a report about the matter explained.
As is usually the case, the authorities are claiming that there is no risk of a blackout actually occurring, and that these are precautionary measures just in case to “maintain the buffer of spare capacity we need.”
“Our forecasts show electricity supply margins are expected to be tighter than normal on Monday evening. We have instructed coal-fired power units to be available to increase electricity supplies should it be needed tomorrow evening,” a statement from the National Grid reads.
“We are also activating a Live [Demand Flexibility Service] event between 5-6 p.m. tomorrow. This does not mean electricity supplies are at risk and people should not be worried.”
This program is being made possible through the use of “smart” meters, which are capable of automatically reducing or eliminating electricity use during the appointed times. The government has full control, in other words, over the homes of people with smart meters.
“It is something we strongly believe in,” said Craig Dyke, Head of National Control at National Grid ESO. “It provides flexibility for the system and the consumer. We see this as a growing market.”
The world is going dark in part due to the “green” energy push. More of the latest about it can be found at Collapse.news.
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