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Durham Energy Institute

What is an electricity blackout?

Durham Energy Institute briefing note in association with the Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences

On 4-5 November 2015, there were widespread media reports about a shortage of available electricity generating capacity in the GB system. In particular, there was concern that this issue in early November meant a particularly high chance of generation shortfalls at time of peak demand later that winter, implying risk of involuntary customer disconnections. There was also a similar but less widely reported incident at the end of October 2016. This comes against a background of concern that the risk of available generation being insufficient at the time of annual peak demand has increased over the last few years. This briefing describes what happened on 4 November 2015, taking this as a basis from which to describe the different types of events which can cause customer disconnections.

Download DEI briefing - What is an electricity blackout?