Changes to electricity demand patterns fuels uncertainty in UK’s electricity sector as residential demand increases, says GlobalData

As many in the UK are now working from home, the electricity demand pattern is expected to take a new shape. As demand from the residential sector increases, there will be a sharp fall in demand from the commercial and industrial sectors.

Demand from the commercial and industrial sectors across the UK will reduce in the event that employees continue to work remotely for another two months, according to National Grid Electricity System Operator. The increased consumption in the residential sector would not be able to offset the reduction in the consumption in industrial and commercial sectors. This would eventually lead to a drop in the electricity prices, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

As a proactive measure, the National Grid has restricted its regular workforce from entering the control rooms to constrain any possible spread of the virus to its emergency response and critical operations teams.

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “With schools, hospitals and offices in lockdown, the UK’s dependable power grid should have minimal challenges to cater to the residential sector where the demand is expected to spike.

“Renewable energy developers pondering over the COVID-19 economic uncertainty will resort to short-term fixed power purchase agreements (PPAs) and such PPAs will ensure price certainty and protection.

“As long as the UK avoids reductions in basic fuel supply, and staff at power stations do not collectively fall ill, there is little to worry about. However, if maintenance regimes are not met at individual plants, there is a risk some may have to be shut down. As the nation lives through the pandemic, it is stringent on not letting the focus shift from boosting renewables.”

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