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Britain will have too much electricity this summer due to the growth in wind and solar farms, National Grid has forecast, warning it could be forced to issue unprecedented emergency orders to power plants to switch off.

Businesses will also be paid to shift their power demand to times when there is surplus electricity, as the UK energy system struggles to cope with the huge expansion in subsidised renewable power.

National Grid, which is responsible for balancing Britain’s power supply and demand, warned that operating the system at times of low demand was “becoming increasingly challenging”, in part due to the growth of “intermittent power capacity” such as wind and solar farms.