Power grid operator National grid has canceled an emergency power reserve tender due to a lack of willing participants in the scheme. The tender proposed that companies would be paid not to use electricity during peak times this coming winter with the goal of directing power towards households.
The Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR) scheme has been introduced to handle tighter winter power supply margins after weaker electricity prices resulted in the closure of a number of power plants in recent years. The issue has been compounded by harsher environmental regulation that will see the UK completely phase out coal-fired power generation in the UK by 2025. The DSBR is a number of measures that National Grid utilises to manage times of emergency and invited large users of electricity such as hospitals and factories to voluntarily reduce their power consumption during winter evenings.
In a letter to industry on 22 August, National Grid stated that is would not be procuring DSBR for the winter of 2016/17. It is instead likely to procure extra generation from a separate initiative that compensates power plants to remain on standby in case of higher demand.