Britain’s energy crisis has taken a bizarre turn. National Grid, the company responsible for balancing supply and demand, is recruiting cash-starved NHS hospitals to fire up their emergency generators and turn down their air conditioning systems when power supplies are scarce. National Grid is making more use of “demand-side response” schemes in which energy users are paid to temporarily reduce the amount of power they draw from the grid.
Several hospitals are already taking part and the Grid has held talks with the Crown Commercial Service, which manages NHS energy procurement, to sign up more. It is believed that the NHS could cut its demand by up to 400 megawatts, enough electricity to power homes in a fairly large city.
As maintenance is often carried out at this time of year, maybe the National Grid is running close to the wire and is worried about power cuts.
Rather than building extra power plants to meet any peak that our country demands in terms of energy, ailing capitalism fiddles around at the edges hoping to forestall power rationing as energy supplies dwindle. Rather than doling out unproductive money into “demand-side responses”, we should develop our energy potential, which is the only true palliative.
Rebuilding Britain requires expanding our energy supply with new power plants.