"There is already an annual industry "auction" process to cover this whereby large companies (or distinct parts of large companies) can bid for reduced tarriffs on large energy supplies in return for accepting the risk that they may be cut off in the event of a national energy shortage."
That's more like the way it *used* to be, surely?
So far as I'm aware (as a long term outside observer) any large UK customer who can easily cut their electricity consumption on a regular basis is already doing so and is already being paid to do so e.g. on a routine daily basis at times of daily peak demand.
So where now is the fast response (seconds to minutes) *emergency* reserve (which used to be handled in part by interruptible contracts)?
It's not been obvious for some time what the impact would be of a significant unplanned outage in generation or transmission during a time of UK daily peak demand, when there are basically no interruptible customer contracts to disconnect because they've already shut down for peak lopping purposes, and when other despatchable capacity is already maxed out.
Yes I'm aware of capacity auctions thank you, and also aware that some big suppliers who signed up have decided it's not worth their while, presumably despite penalty clauses.
In a year or two's time we might have a handful of GW worth of fields full of diesel generators which on paper might start almost instantaneously. We'll see.
All good fun, right. What could possibly go wr