Britain will have too much electricity this summer due to the growth in wind and solar farms, the country’s grid operator has forecast, warning it could be forced to issue unprecedented emergency orders to power plants to switch off at times of low power demand.

Generating electricity from the sun and wind is great for the planet, but the infrastructure necessary to deal with these intermittent power sources is complex. Too much or too little power can upset the balance of the grid, which must be finely tuned to keep the voltage of the electricity it delivers to customers stable.

Without a means of storing renewable energy or handling huge variations in energy production, too much electricity surging into the grid can damage appliances or even cause outages.

Reduced energy demand and more prevalent renewable power is a good combination for the climate, but a headache for grid operators.

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