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Britain at 'significant risk' of gas shortages this winter, says regulator

Commodities Oct 03, 2022 15:51
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Energy company RWE npower's new gas-fired Pembroke Power Station, the largest of its type in Europe, is seen during its completion ceremony in Pembroke, Wales September 19, 2012. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden///File Photo
 
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LONDON (Reuters) -Britain faces a "significant risk" of gas shortages this winter and a possible emergency due to the conflict in Ukraine and limited supplies in Europe, the energy regulator has said.

Although Russia only meets about 4% of Britain's gas needs, a disruption in supply to Europe has contributed to driving up British prices and makes it harder for Britain to secure gas from others.

In a letter to power company SSE (LON:SSE), regulator Ofgem said Britain faced the possibility of a "gas supply emergency" in which gas supplies to some gas-fired power plants are curtailed, which can stop them from generating electricity.

Responding to the publication of the letter, Ofgem said in an email: "This winter is likely to be more challenging than previous ones due to the Russian disruption of gas supplies to Europe."

In the event of gas supply issues the regulator and Britain's National Grid (LON:NG) could be forced to curb supply of gas to gas-fired power stations to make sure enough supply remains available to households.

"We need to be prepared for all scenarios this winter," Ofgem said in the email.

"As a result, Ofgem is putting in place sensible contingency measures with National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) and GSO (Gas System Operator) as well as the government to ensure that the UK energy system is fully prepared for this winter," Ofgem said.

SSE had contacted Ofgem for clarity over imbalance charges which could see power generators forced to pay for failing to produce promised electricity, if emergency measures meant they did not get the gas they needed.

Gas-fired power plants were responsible for more than 40% of Britain's electricity production last year while the fossil fuel is also used to heat around 80% of British homes.

Britain's National Grid said in July there could be periods where electricity supply is tight this winter, given uncertainty over supplies of Russian gas to Europe, but that it expects to be able to meet demand.

National Grid is expected to announce its winter outlook on Thursday.

Britain at 'significant risk' of gas shortages this winter, says regulator
 

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Comments (5)
Darren MNM
Darren_M Oct 03, 2022 19:38
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Once large parts of British industry has collapsed due to high energy costs there'll be a lot less demand for electricity.
Pedro Gonzalez
Pedro Gonzalez Oct 03, 2022 18:13
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thanks Greta
Dave Love
Dave Love Oct 03, 2022 18:11
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I saw a post 2days ago says we were going to start exporting electricity so what's it matter..
Graham Kinnear
Graham Kinnear Oct 03, 2022 16:35
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I keep hearing that we don't need gas or oil. We have wind LOL
Ian Ian
Ian Ian Oct 03, 2022 16:35
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When I worked in the gas industry, I kept hearing that we don’t need our own gas supplies but of course it suited someone to import it and make money. That worked out then. Bring that fat head back to explain.
Oct 03, 2022 15:58
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They forget to consider though with the fear of high energy costs people might not use as much as as previous years!
Ian Ian
Ian Ian Oct 03, 2022 15:58
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Yes, basic maths says so.
 
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