HC Deb 16 December 1948 vol 459 cc201-2W
111. Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will give figures showing the extent of the gap between the maximum national electrical demand and the generating capacity available to meet it for the Winters 1946–47 and 1947–48; and the estimated figures for the Winters 1948–49 and 1949–50.

Mr. Robens

The maximum gap between the estimated peak demand and the actual capacity available to meet it was about 2,000,000 kilowatts in the Winter of 1946–47, and rather over 1,000,000 kilowatts in the Winter of 1947–48, which was exceptionally mild. The maximum gap between demand and available capacity this Winter will depend partly on the weather and partly on the effect of the measures taken to reduce peak demand, such as the differential tariff recommended by the Clow Committee. With average Winter weather we think it is unlikely that the gap will much exceed 1,000,000 kilowatts, but if at any time the weather is exceptionally severe the gap might during such conditions be double that figure. I cannot at present give any reliable estimate for the Winter of 1949–50.