Comment on National Grid Gas Deficit Warning

Commenting on a Gas Deficit Warning issued today by National Grid, Dr Jonathan Marshall, Energy Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: 

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The National Grid warning was issued this morning in response to a series of significant supply losses resulting in a forecast end of day supply deficit for the UK. Image: Cade Buchanan

“Behind today’s gas deficit warning is a ‘perfect storm’ of unrelated short-term issues – freezing conditions, diminished Dutch gas production due to earthquake concerns, weather-related issues curbing imports from Europe, and a global LNG market in which supplies are being pulled to Asia by higher prices.

“But underlying it is another set of issues that speak to a failure by successive Governments to map out a secure gas future in the way that they have done so successfully for electricity.

“Allowing Centrica to close the UK’s only big long-term gas store without consideration for supply during cold snaps, failing to develop a coherent plan for low-carbon heating, and above all a head-in-the-sand approach to improving energy efficiency in homes have all put households and businesses at risk of shortages and price spikes.

“The UK is largely isolated in its dependency on gas, with a huge over-reliance in the power and heating sectors. Experts have long warned about putting too many eggs in the same basket, with events such as today the undesirable outcome.

“The gas crunch, plus today’s report showing plummeting investment in warm homes, shows there’s an urgent need for Greg Clark and Sajid Javid to work out jointly exactly what they’re going to do about Britain’s cold, energy-wasteful housing stock – because doing nothing clearly isn’t an option.”