Lights Out ????

The continued unusually cold weather conditions also prompted so-called “experts” to renew their scaremongering about Britain’s gas running out. We were given two weeks of continuing cold weather before rationing was implemented.
Earlier in the week OFGEM had reported that the ‘Big Six’ energy companies will make a record profit in 2013 – despite the cost of energy on the wholesale market dropping.

Two days later the CEO and MD of one of the big six – SSE – were raising the spectre of the “lights out” scenario, in an obvious attack on the government and its failure to implement a clear energy strategy.

The industry was not, however, slow to muscle in on an opportunity and add to their profits when on the 15th a pipleine problem between Belgium and the UK, although temporary, forced wholesale prices up by 50%, according to the Telegraph, to a record high, before settling back down. The paper reported that Britain had less than 36 hours of gas reserves remaining.

Apart from remarking that this sort of report (23rd March) is inaccurate, I suggest this saga indicates the central problem. That the current government’s strategy is overdependent on gas, and that it has failed even there to ensure security of supply (Britain exports a substantial amount of its gas, and does not have the storage capacity expected to accompany gas dependence – France and Germany are said to have storage capacity for 100 days of demand, whilst Britain has only one fifth of that).
The government, and the National Grid, were quick to counter the suggestions that gas supplies would run out, or need rationing.

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