The costs of keeping the lights on in Britain spiralled to more than £50 million in the four days from Friday to bank holiday Monday as National Grid had to pay surplus wind and solar farms to switch off and take a series of other measures to prevent blackouts. The bill for what the company described as a “very expensive weekend” ultimately will feed through to businesses and households on their energy bills and is almost five times as high as the costs of balancing supply and demand during the same period last year. National Grid said that sunny and windy weather and unusually low electricity usage owing to the lockdown had led to record low demand on the network. The initial £51 million estimate, disclosed yesterday, compares with about £11 million in the same four-day period of 2019 and does not include further costs, including sums paid to Sizewell B nuclear plant under a £50 million contract for it to run at half-capacity this summer.
Times 28th May 2020 read more »