By Simon Gill and Keith Bell, University of Strathclyde
On the 1st October 2016 an almost un-noticed event occurred in Britain’s electricity system: the delivery of the first tranche of providers in the Capacity Market, the UK government’s primary mechanism to ensure security of energy supply. A total of 803MW of capacity obligations are being delivered by Demand Side Response providers and small generators to support security of electricity supply this winter.
In 2017 – a year earlier than originally planned – delivery begins from large generators and the Capacity Market becomes the primary method of ensuring sufficient generation is available on the system each winter. What arrangements are in place to ensure that sufficient electricity generation capacity is available each winter? How are these changing, and how is the system likely to operate when demand is high during this winter and beyond?