The lights are going out all over Britain
Power rationing started this week
The National Grid control centre went straight to its stage-two level of warning to the energy market, a "High Risk of Demand Reduction" notice. (By "demand reduction", the Grid means it may forcibly reduce the amount of power that consumers can use - either by somewhat reducing the voltage supplied to them, or ultimately by cutting them off.)
The initial warning was issued to cover the period until seven pm yesterday, saying that a further 1200 megawatts was required. Another "High risk" warning went out just before 4 pm, saying that the gap had now widened to 1600 megawatts; and then eleven minutes later the Grid control room issued the next stage of alert, "Demand Control Imminent".
Shortly after that, "demand control" went into effect, as distribution companies reduced the voltage in their supplies....
One energy-market analyst, speaking to the Times, blamed lack of investment owing to years of uncertainty over government policy.
"The Government’s inability to make long-term energy security decisions over the last decade is coming home to roost," said the industry watcher. "Lack of political will to make tough decisions has left Britain short of power."