National Grid: Power blackout prevention scheme will not be triggered on Tuesday

The National Grid in the United Kingdom has stood down its Power Blackout Prevention scheme.

The National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has said it will not be activating its Power Blackout Prevention scheme for the first time on Tuesday (November 29) after the French nuclear energy industry was sent into turmoil recently. The UK relies on power from French nuclear energy stations over the winter however, approximately half of the reactors run by state company EDF are currently shut for maintenance reasons.

The decision not to activate the scheme was announced by National Grid ESO shortly after 3.00pm on Monday. Had National Grid proceeded with the deployment, it would have been the first time the energy saving plan would have been deployed in the UK.

If it had have been activated, households in the UK signed up to the scheme would have been paid to not use items such as microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines and tumble dryers within specific periods of time. It would have been the first time this specific action would have been deployed as a direct result of there not being enough energy supply required for peak times.

Insulators on an electricity sub station are seen near homes on October 19, 2022 in Manchester, England. The British utility company, National Grid, have said that UK households may face power cuts this winter for up to three hours at a time, if gas supplies run low. The UK relies heavily on gas to produce electricity, and gas supplies to Europe have been severely disrupted by the fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The scheme was run as a trial basis and tested by the Octopus Energy Group and it is predicted it will be open to hundreds of thousands of households in parts of England and Wales. Consultancy EnergyAppSys warned: “Even though wind is coming back for tomorrow evening’s peak, slow return of nukes in France plus lower temperatures may mean that there is a reduction in available imports across the interconnectors.”

England play Wales at the Fifa World Cup 2022 in Qatar on Tuesday evening.