Lord Bourne and I visited the National Grid control centre in Wokingham earlier today.
It is impressive to see how the National Grid works to manage the peaks and troughs in electricity demand throughout the day, and how quickly power can be brought online from various stations around the country. Whilst we rely on the “always on” baseload of nuclear energy and gas-fired power stations, it is remarkable how specialised hydroelectric power stations at Dinorwig, Ffestiniog and elsewhere can start generating electricity within seconds using gravity and thousands of tonnes of water. It is also fantastic to see the huge increase in renewable energy sources of electricity, contributing to reducing our carbon footprint.
We also learnt more about the pickups through interconnectors with neighbouring countries, with whom we buy and sell electricity as demand requires.
I recommend this clip from Andrew Marr’s Britain From Above series from a few years ago, which shows very clearly how finely balanced the Grid is.