Gas crisis: UK at risk of shut-ins and blackouts – could your energy be cut off?

Russia: Portillo explains Germany’s fears over gas supply

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Russian President Vladimir Putin could cut off gas to Europe as a threat to stop NATO from coming to the defence of Ukraine. As Russia sends more and more troops to the Ukrainian border, invasion seems increasingly likely. Ministers have responded to the threat by building up emergency energy supplies, but analysts fear this won’t be enough to avoid “rolling blackouts” – could your energy be cut off?

Will your energy supply be cut off?

Analysts have warned that energy supplies will be stretched to the point where rationing will be needed if Russia cuts off its gas supply to Europe.

Analysts at US investment bank Stifel Chris Wheaton and David Round, said: “It’s not pretty. Energy rationing would be inevitable in this scenario, which would be disastrous for the European economy.

“Could we see quadruple-digit UK gas prices – over 1000p/therm in this event? Yes, we could, in our view.

“Demand for power would need to be reduced. This would require industry shut-ins, power rationing through rolling blackouts, to both reduce average demand and also shift and flatten power demand peaks.”

How likely is it that Russia will cut off gas to the UK?

Britain and the US have both agreed to respond strongly to any attempts by Russia to invade Ukraine.

One of the options under consideration is to ban Russia from Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a global payment system.

This is no small threat, as SWIFT is used by banks, brokerages, and other financial institutions to send and receive information, such as instructions for transferring money overseas or settling securities trades.

If Russia isn’t able to access it, then it would be a serious blow to its economy.

Russia has responded with force to these reports by claiming it would cut off its gas supply to Europe if the UK and US blocked its access to SWIFT.

Therefore, if tensions continue to escalate, there is a very real possibility that Russia will pull the plug on its gas supplies to Europe.

Russia has already dramatically cut gas deliveries to Europe through its network of pipelines.

This move to weaken Europe’s gas supply could be a sign of things to come, unless either President Putin or NATO backs down over Ukraine.

What is the UK doing to boost its emergency energy supplies?

It seems the UK Business Department is already planning for Europe’s gas supply to be cut by Russia, as it has introduced emergency measures to boost the UK’s energy production.

Usually selected generators are paid to ensure that they’re on standby in case of unexpected electricity shortfalls every year.

The Government may have to draw on these generators to sure up the UK’s energy supply.

The Government has to set a new target of procuring 5.4 gigawatts of capacity in the UK in 2022-2023 through these – far more than the recommendation by the National Grid of 4.7 gigawatts.

Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, told Fintan Slye, director of National Grid ESO, in a letter: “While I agree with the analysis you provided in fulfilment of your remit under the Capacity Market Regulations, this target reflects the broader uncertainties within the power sector.”

The US may also step in to help Europe in the event of a conflict with Russia.

A senior US official told reporters on January 26: “To ensure Europe is able to make it through the winter and spring we expect to be prepared to ensure alternative supplies covering a significant majority of the potential shortfall.”

Source: Read Full Article