A UK trade association has suggested that the power rental sector in the UK has an important role in providing essential back-up power in the event of major power blackouts.
Robert Beebee, chairman of The Association of Manufacturers and suppliers of Power Systems (AMPS), which represents suppliers of diesel generators, said the UK’s power infrastructure was becoming less secure, with a likely ‘energy margin’ of just 2% by 2015/16 because of the planned closures of large coal, oil and nuclear power stations.
Mr Beebee was responding to a documentary drama, Blackout, broadcast last week on the UK’s Channel 4 network, which was an account of the consequences of a cyber attack on the UK’s vulnerable power infrastructure.
“People don’t consider where their power comes from, and consider even less that they could mitigate the threat of a blackout with a relatively small generator,” he said, “The potentially lifesaving and business-saving role of a generator is something the public are largely unaware of. I think the number of diesel generating sets would explode if people understood the potential threat of blackouts due from 2015 onwards. “
Mr Beebee said contingency planning was needed; “Short-term, I think we need a strategy for allocating the available hire fleet to strategic locations in the event of an emergency: if suitable generators were identified now it would make the processes far smoother in the event.