If you live in a large town or city, you should have a reasonably reliable power supply but there are large swathes of land even in South-East England where power cuts are quite frequent. The situation for all of us can only get worse over the next 10 to 15 years.
A back-up generator does what is says on the tin: if you have a power cut, it will cut in automatically and almost immediately, and will keep your whole house running. So, you can continue to use your computer, the contents of your fridges and freezers won’t suffer, your heating and telephones will work, and generally your life will continue unaffected. If you have security gates you will be able to get in and out. If you have medical needs requiring electricity, you can continue as normal. And when the power comes back on the generator automatically shuts itself down – an important point for those working on the Grid.
For some, therefore, a back-up generator is a luxury item; for others it may be a necessity; and for many, it will be something between the two. However, given the problems facing the National Grid, power cuts will become more frequent over the foreseeable future, and therefore a back-up generator may become relevant to lots of us, but many people don’t know that they exist in a sensible and affordable way.
For years, successive governments have avoided the Nuclear option in contrast to France which has developed it enormously. Instead, with EU Regulations on emissions forcing the closure of the old coal and gas fired power stations, over 20% of the National Grid’s capacity has disappeared in the last 16 months – and that was after the Grid had published a graph showing 4.1% surplus of peak supply over peak demand!
OK, appliances are more efficient than they were and LED bulbs save a large amount of electricity, but nowhere near enough!
All the forecasts show that the demand for electricity will continue to rise.
Equally, renewable sources have increased considerably, but wind power contributes so little, and although the solar farms can produce a significant amount on a perfectly clear summer’s day, their contribution on a cloudy day in winter is small compared to the amount of electricity required.
The nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset is running years behind schedule. Even when online, it will only produce 7% of the Grid’s requirement.
There is much more to say, but none of it is good news!
So what are the options?
Unfortunately there are few, and those who live in rural locations are likely to fare the worst. There are batteries, but the technology has a long way to go yet, and they come with a number of problems. There is Solar Power, but these have to cut out automatically when the power fails in order to protect people working on the Grid. The best one at present and for the foreseeable future is to have a back-up generator, lying dormant in your garden, ready to keep your life running seamlessly when the power is cut.
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Or write to us at:
The Clock House
Phone: 07540 756710.