“The government, in its wisdom, has chosen a ‘just in time’ approach”: energy boss says he has “finally given up” on building an offshore gas storage unit after years of rejecting gas. ministers – leaving UK with seven days to return – up from Germany with NINETY
- Ministers are criticized for failing to build more gas storage facilities in the UK
- Huge rise in wholesale gas cost has sparked energy crisis as businesses fold
- Germany and France have an estimated 90-day supply of gas in storage facilities
- UK would only have about seven days when Britain was ill-prepared
- But ministers said an increase in gas storage would make no difference
Energy bosses have blasted successive governments for failing to invest more in building gas storage facilities amid the worsening energy crisis.
The energy sector has been hit by soaring global wholesale gas prices, causing some businesses to shut down and raising the prospect of rising consumer bills.
Some industry leaders have suggested the UK is ill-prepared to weather the current storm, as ministers have chosen a ‘just-in-time’ approach to energy supply, meaning the storage capacity of the Great -Brittany is much inferior to that of its neighbors.
Reports suggest the UK only has seven days of gas storage compared to the 90 days of supply held by France and Germany.
However, the ministers argued that an apparent lack of storage is not “relevant” because “there is no way that storage around the world will mitigate the effect of a quadrupling in the price of gas in four months”.
Statistics from Gas Infrastructure Europe show that the UK has less than nine terawatt hours of storage, compared to 113 for France and 148 for Germany. Supply from the UK would take around seven days while that from Germany would take around 90 days.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the issue of gas storage is “irrelevant because there is no way that storage around the world will mitigate the effect of a quadruple gas price. in four months “.
Data released by the UK Energy Research Center showed that the UK has enough gas storage to cover 6% of annual demand, while Germany and France can cover around 20% of annual demand.
Statistics from Gas Infrastructure Europe show that the UK has less than nine terawatt hours of storage, compared to 113 for France and 148 for Germany.
George Grant of Stag Energy, said he had tried but failed to secure support for the Gateway project right next to Barrow-in-Furness, which would have significantly increased the available storage.
“The proposal was for a gas storage facility in a salt cave in what has been recognized by the British Geological Survey as the best salt structure for such a service in the UK,” he told the ‘TBEN Radio 4 Today program.
“It was about 12 miles from the coast. The philosophy behind this is that you are creating caves in the salt and it is a very good way to store gas.
But he said his company had “finally given up” on moving the project forward after years of rejection by ministers.
He said: “In 2004, when we first spoke to the government, there was a lot of interest in new gas storage. We arrived at the financial crash of 2008, when credit requirements on long-term contracts became much more difficult.
“That’s when we really started to engage more with the government on potential support mechanisms or some form of intervention to ensure adequate security of supply in the gas sector.
“The government, in its wisdom, has chosen to operate with a ‘just in time’ approach. Every year there is a lot of gas in the world and a lot of liquid gas being shipped, but the challenge we are seeing right now is a confluence of events, including low wind generation and the resulting high demand for gas. as supplies are drawn to China and fertilizer factories are exploding.
“As a result, there was a shortage of supply and prices increased accordingly. Additional storage in the UK would certainly have helped in this situation.
“The message we have given the government is that you cannot turn around in a crisis and ask for a facility like this. The lead time is approximately ten years from securing sufficient incentive and structure around funding to actual construction.
Reports suggest the UK only has seven days of gas storage compared to the 90 days of supply held by France and Germany. Storage tanks are visible at the Dragon Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility in Waterston, Milford Haven, Wales
Two other energy companies with a total of 800,000 customers, Avro Energy and Green Supplier, were placed under administration yesterday. Dozens more businesses are at risk, including Bulb, which supplies 1.7 million homes
“Energy infrastructure is a long-term endeavor that goes beyond electoral cycles. “
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Downing Street rejected the suggestion that an increase in gas storage would have helped in the current situation.
When asked if the UK had ‘dropped the ball’ on gas storage, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: ‘I think Kwasi answered this question quite firmly in the House. and he said “I don’t think that’s relevant because there’s no way any storage in the world is going to mitigate the effect of quadrupling the price of gas in four months.”
“I would like to highlight what we have said previously about the importance we place on switching to renewable energy sources as we seek to tackle climate change and achieve our well-known goals.”