Russia's curtailing of gas to Europe could result in Great Britain employing rolling blackouts this winter.
The gas utility company National Grid has warned that British households and businesses could be cut off for up to three hours daily if electricity supplies run short.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reduced his country's gas supplies to Europe amid the war in Ukraine — something that has wreaked havoc on gas and electricity markets.
Low gas supplies and cold weather could result in electricity being cut off in some areas of Britain to ensure power does not go down more widely, The Telegraph reported.
Some consumers would be paid to cut their energy usage at peak times if energy supplies are low. Coal-fired power plants also would be called into action to help cover energy imbalances.
National Grid said that although the prospect of insufficient gas supplies is "unlikely," the winter likely will be "challenging" and the country needs to be prepared.
Fintan Slye, executive director of National Grid's electricity system operator, said he was "cautiously confident" there would be adequate supplies this winter.
"As an expert and responsible operator of Great Britain's electricity system it is incumbent on us to also factor in external factors and risks beyond our control like the unprecedented turmoil and volatility in energy markets in Europe and beyond," Slye said, The Telegraph reported.
National Grid has developed different models to combat an insufficient energy supply.
In one scenario, National Grid will turn to five coal-fired power plants that have been asked to stay online beyond planned closure dates this September. Also, from November to March, households and businesses can agree in advance to be paid to stop using electricity temporarily if needed.
In another scenario, National Grid has looked at what would happen if 10 gas-fired power plants were unable to operate, The Telegraph said.
"Should this scenario happen, it may be necessary to initiate the planned, controlled and temporary rota load-shedding scheme," the company said.
"In the unlikely event that we were in this situation, it would mean that some customers would be without power for pre-defined periods during a day — generally this is assumed to be for three hour blocks.
"This would be necessary to ensure the overall security and integrity of the system across Great Britain."
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