Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has announced an investigation into Friday’s power cut that left a million homes in the dark and caused disruption to train lines, hospitals and airports.
Chaos hit after two power plants (one gas and one wind farm) failed minutes apart, accounting for around 5% of the UK’s energy needs. Power was restored within fifteen minutes, however the unfortunate timing of the outage, at 4.50pm on a Friday afternoon, caused significant disruption to thousands of commutes home.
A review by the Energy Emergencies Committee aims to establish what caused the outage and assess whether National Grid followed correct procedures.
The UK has not been affected by a power cut of this scale since 2008, with the head of National Grid insisting that Britain has “statistically one of the most reliable energy networks not only in Europe but anywhere in the world.”
Group CEO, John Pettigrew continued:
This is the result of the energy industry investing £100bn in distribution and transmission networks since 1990. In the past six years alone, National Grid has invested £10bn in improving the security, integrity and carbon performance of UK energy supply markets. Power cuts are actually 60% less frequent than they were when I started working at National Grid back in 1991.
We are certain this was a result of a freak coincidence and not a cyber-attack. While we must not be complacent and must continue to be vigilant, our investments in cyber security defences provide a silent shield to UK power supplies.