Britain faces tight electricity supplies this winter on rising demand and capacity constraints, National Grid said today. The grim outlook comes amid record high energy prices, which contributed to nine energy suppliers going bust last month, caused some industrial firms to curtail production and warnings over some food shortages this winter.
Daily Mail 7th Oct 2021 read more »
This winter — people are going to die of cold. As the price of energy goes higher, the costs will fall disproportionately upon the poorest in society. Income inequalities will be dramatically exposed as the most vulnerable in society face a stark choice: heat or eat. … This winter the U.K. is likely to be on its knees, begging energy from wherever it’s available. Europe will be in as much trouble. How did we get here? In truth, it’s a good-news-bad-news story. The good news is that every major economy has signed onto reducing its carbon footprint by phasing out dirtier fuels like coal to heat homes and to power industries. The bad news is that most nations are doing it in totally uncoordinated ways, from the top down, and before the market has produced sufficient clean renewables like wind, solar and hydro.
New York Times 5th Oct 2021 read more »
New modelling from Cornwall Insight has forecast that the Summer 2022 default tariff price cap could now reach around £1,660. This would be around a 30% increase on the record level seen for Winter 2021-22, and would be a result of wholesale gas and electricity prices continuing to also reach new records. Indeed, this increase for Winter 2021-22 along with the high power prices and the successive supplier exits last month means the GB energy market remains “on edge for fresh volatility and further consolidation”, Cornwall Insight said.
Current 7th Oct 2021 read more »
The risk of power cuts to factories and homes this winter has increased, the National Grid warned, as the business secretary prepared for a crunch meeting with industry bosses concerned the energy crisis may force them to scale back production. The price of gas and electricity has soared in recent weeks, leading to the collapse of multiple energy suppliers and prompting warnings of higher costs for consumers, factory shutdowns and increased pollution as plants switch to dirtier but cheaper fuels. The unfolding energy crisis has coincided with the Grid’s annual assessment of Great Britain’s resilience to disruption to electricity supplies, with the key “margin” figure falling to its lowest in five years.
Guardian 7th Oct 2021 read more »
Fears of a winter energy crisis were dismissed by the government yesterday after National Grid warned that the country would be at the greatest risk of power shortages for five years. Britain faced “significant price spikes” and was likely to have to pay higher electricity prices than mainland Europe, National Grid said, although it was “confident” that it could keep the lights on. The country should not run out of gas but must be willing to outbid other countries to secure scarce supplies, the company added.
Times 8th Oct 2021 read more »
After weeks of ratcheting prices across the European continent, Putin triggered a sharp reversal on Wednesday when the Russian president indicated he was prepared to increase supplies. Month-ahead natural gas contracts surged 40pc that morning, climbing above 400p a therm for the first time in Britain.
Telegraph 8th Oct 2021 read more »
Surging energy prices have forced Sanjeev Gupta to delay plans to restart UK production at Liberty Steel because the higher costs would make its products hopelessly uncompetitive. The entrepreneur’s embattled steel business had aimed to resume operations on October 15, with staff returning to work two days before. Production has been “intermittent” for about a year after demand plummeted in the wake of coronavirus.
Telegraph 7th Oct 2021 read more »
Britain’s gas crisis has its origins nine months ago and 5,000 miles away in the depths of the Chinese winter. The country experienced record-breaking low temperatures in the warmer south as well as in the north. In January Beijing recorded its lowest temperatures since the 1960s, sending demand for fuel surging. A government campaign to phase out polluting coal-fired power stations meant that the fuel in demand was natural gas, and China didn’t have enough. Now winter is coming around again and an electricity crunch has swept the country, with local governments cutting power for upwards of 12 hours without notice. Factories that saw double-digit increases in output in August now operate only two days a week in some parts of the country, threatening the economic recovery from the pandemic. The government of President Xi is scrambling to avoid a repeat and has ordered the country’s state-owned energy companies to secure supplies for this winter “at all costs”. Essentially, the world’s second-richest country is prepared to pay whatever it takes to keep warm the world’s largest population. The effect is to create a bidding war for fuel supplies, especially natural gas, that will drive up heating costs across the planet, from Shanghai to Sheffield.
Times 7th Oct 2021 read more »