Britain’s plans to keep the lights on this winter have been thrown into fresh doubt after a power plant supposed to provide back-up electricity supplies failed during testing. But Peterhead, a 32-year old plant with 780-megawatt capacity, unexpectedly failed to produce required power levels last Thursday during a monthly "proving" test. Fears: The gap between the amount of electricity that the nation's power stations can supply and the demand from homes and businesses is getting dangerously low.
The new rules unveiled yesterday would also let National Grid resurrect mothballed power plants to boost supply.
The London Telegraph reported yesterday on the classified findings of a new security assessment by the British government simulating a storm-induced power blackout of two weeks’ duration in southwestern England.

Whatever progress had been made in providing for Britain’s energy future has ground to a halt. Britain’s National Grid agreed this week to pay three of the country’s utilities to keep three power plants running this winter as it tries to avoid brownouts. A mass of electricity pylons are seen from Hinkley Point nuclear power station near Bridgwater on November 12, 2013 in Somerset, England. The assessment evaluated likely scenarios to occur if storms took out critical energy infrastructure in southwest England and knocked out power to two million homes for two weeks. The report also said mobile phone coverage would start to disappear after only two hours and landline phones would be useless as they require power.

The sad fact remains that, as coal-fired power stations continue to be phased out, little is coming forward to replace them.

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