Natural gas crisis in UK.

Posted by: adam2

Natural gas crisis in UK. - 09/26/21 01:04 PM

Wholesale natural gas prices have reached the shocking level of about 180 pence a therm in the UK.

The previous peak was to about 80 pence a therm, and was only for a few days.
This peak is much higher and has already lasted for a couple of months.

Discussion as to he reasons for this increase could lead us into forbidden p0litical areas, but it is an observed fact that the increase has occurred.

Prices are broadly similar in most of Europe.

A lot of UK electricity is produced from natural gas, resulting in huge increases in wholesale electricity costs.

Fertilizer production was halted as the high gas price rendered it uneconomic, this in turn affected carbon dioxide supplies as this is a by product of fertilizer manufacture.
This in turn affected some food supplies as carbon dioxide is used to stun animals for humane killing, and is also used in food packaging.

The UK government have now given emergency funding to fertilizer factories to resume production that would otherwise be loss making.

A number of retailers of domestic natural gas and electricity have gone bust as they retailing energy at half the wholesale cost.

Regulations have prevented the present high wholesale costs being passed on to retail customers, but this cant carry on forever.

All a bit worrying, not directly for myself as I have no natural gas and use very little electricity. I worry about the effect on wider society though.
Posted by: adam2

Re: Natural gas crisis in UK. - 10/16/22 03:34 PM

It surprises me that this is not being more widely discussed.

Whilst natural gas prices have fallen a bit, they remain at about SEVEN TIMES the norm in recent years.

A natural gas panic is underway throughout Europe, not just in the UK, with growing concerns over electricity shortages as a lot of power stations are gas fired.
Various European nations have announced energy saving measures.

The situation is compounded by a lack of nuclear generated power in france, due to a series of breakdowns and faults at nuclear power stations. Nuclear output in France is restricted to about half that previously achieved.
Many European nations have become reliant on electricity from France and may now face winter blackouts.
Back in the UK, we are routinely exporting electricity to France.

The possibility of rota power cuts is now being discussed by the UK Government.

Whilst the direct effects on me should be limited, I am concerned about the effects on wider society.
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Natural gas crisis in UK. - 10/18/22 01:10 AM

adam2, this has been very much on the radar in Canada and internationally. There are a lot of ordinary folk in the UK and in Europe who are going to have a difficult, expensive, and chilly winter. For many, it's not outlandish to think this may become a survival situation.

Companies with LNG export capacity (U.S., Australia, Quatar) have of course been pushing supplies to where the high prices are. That certainly affects everyone on this continent, as prices rise across the board, affecting home heating, electrical generation, food production, industrial manufacturing, ... you name it.

Canada has had requests to fast-track liquified natural gas (LNG) exports, but we've been the EU's whipping boy for a long time regarding our our energy developments, so we are wary. These are complex megaprojects with a 25-50 year operational lifespan, and require rock solid contracts before a shovel goes into the ground. We'll see. Money talks.

Anyway, there are going to be some hard times for a lot of people on the ground. I wonder if we can brainstorm some practical strategies here, or bump old threads that are relevant.
Posted by: MartinFocazio

Re: Natural gas crisis in UK. - 10/19/22 08:18 PM

I have MANY friends in UK, so far, they are planning to keep their house cold and lights dim. So, yes, a crisis, but there is a LOT of room for cuts in consumption.