Britain load shedding

Photo: Unsplash

Britain may become the next country to be hit by load shedding – here’s why

For once, this probably isn’t something Britain can blame on Boris: But the UK faces an electricity nightmare akin to load shedding in the years ahead…

Britain load shedding

Photo: Unsplash

No, Eskom hasn’t opened a few power plants in London – but experts on climate change are now warning about the possibility of widespread electricity failures across Britain in the not too distant future. So for all our expats who thought their move to the UK would spare them from load shedding, we’ve got news for you.

Load shedding in Britain ‘forecast due to climate change’

The warning isn’t an instant one. Indeed, the potential for rolling blackouts increases as the UK transitions to a ‘net zero power system’, where it will eventually rely more often on electricity to power heat sources and its transport network. With climate hazards set to become more extreme, Britain is likely to have its electricity grid pummelled.

Load shedding is something South Africans are all too familiar with, and while the report doesn’t implicitly mention the term, it does suggest that power outages might have to be staged under severe conditions. This wouldn’t be the first time that another country is treated to the Eskom experience, either…

At least we’re not alone…

At the turn of the year, Texas was hit by a major snowstorm. Its main power lines went down for weeks, plunging the US state into its first round of ‘load shedding’. Locals struggled to adapt to the scheduled blackouts.

It all made for some compelling viewing back here in South Africa. But, according to the Committee on Climate Change, the UK is heading the same way – and there isn’t a great deal they can do to prevent it.

“Risks from climate-related hazards will become more damaging as our dependence on electricity grows and the variability of our weather increases. Within a Net Zero power system, weather-dependent renewables are expected to play a dominant role. We strongly recommend that the Government reviews its approach to electricity system design.”

“As we transition to the use of electricity for heat, transport and across the industry, as well as light, communications and delivery of other critical services such as water… people and the economy will be increasingly exposed and vulnerable to electricity system failures.” | Statement from the Committee on Climate Change