Energy secretary Ed Davey has insisted that Britain’s lights will stay on in the unlikely event of a World Cup victory for England, even in the face of what would be the biggest ever surge in domestic electricity demand.
TV events such as the World Cup often cause surges in energy demand as the nation tunes in, and also when millions of kettles are boiled across the country during ad breaks and half-times.
According to the National Grid, if England were to make it to the final in Brazil on July 13, the result could be the biggest domestic surge ever seen, outstripping royal weddings and the previous record – set after England’s penalty defeat to Germany in 1990.
Speaking at the Economist’s UK Energy 2014 conference on Tuesday, Davey said, “If England were to reach the World Cup final – listen, just stay with me for a minute – if that were to happen, Grid’s data suggests it’s possible we could see the highest domestic electricity demand surge ever.
“Now you’ve got the picture: can you imagine what would happen if, at a crunch moment, perhaps with the match about to go to extra time or penalties, there was a mass blackout?”
Davey said that the National Grid had assured him that the UK has sufficient capacity to cope with even a record-breaking surge, “through the group stages and beyond”.
He added, “So if [England captain] Stevie Gerrard lifts the World Cup, Britain’s lights – and televisions – will stay on.”