UK at high risk of a gas supply emergency

Article posted

14th Oct 2022

Read time

2-4 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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Due to Russia’s war with Ukraine, the EU has been left with barely enough gas to get through the Winter. This has affected the gas market as a whole and consequently the UK’s gas supply. Ofgem has said that the country could enter a gas supply emergency.

If the country did go into an emergency state it could lead to supplies to power stations being cut, which use gas to generate the country’s electricity.

Currently, power stations generate around 40-60% of the UK’s electricity.

The plan for the gas supply emergency comes under a contingency plan produced by the ESO and Ofgem. If the plan does have to be put in place it would include gas supplies being cut to the largest users, which would be large gas-fired power stations that produce electricity.   

These power stations burn gas to produce heat which then powers a turbine. That is then converted into electricity that is transmitted to the National Electricity Transmission System.  

However, firms that supply electricity through these gas-fired power plants are concerned about the impact this could have on them. Currently, it stands that if these generators fail to deliver electricity to the grid, then they will have to pay a large fine.

This has led to worries that these energy companies could run out of money. Ofgem has ensured however that there would be a plan in place to prevent this if it comes to it.

If there was a gas supply emergency, then the country would prioritise keeping the gas to heat homes for as long as possible.

Although Ofgem and the ESO have said there are minimal risks of blackouts for domestic and business energy consumers, it is always best to know what to do in the case of a blackout. To find out more continue reading here

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