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Gas Remains Key to UK Energy

Even today, gas from the North and Irish Sea supplies almost half of the UK’s needs leaving the lion’s share to imports via 4 pipelines fromEurope and Norway and some 9 percent to LNG tankers. 80 percent of the UK’s 25 million homes are powered by gas, one quarter of the country’s electricity isgeneration by gas-fired power stations, and a fifth is consumed by industry.Gas is a key element of the UK’s energy mix. In 2017, the UK consumed 74.3 billion cubic metres (bcm) and its gas storage capacity of four bcm was just enough to deliver over a quarter ofnatural gas demand on a cold winter’s day. The closure of Centrica’s Rough Long-Term Storage facility last year reduced gas storage capacity to 1.3 bcm equivalent to 1.6 percent of the UK’s annual gas demand. The UK has only 14 days gas storage capacity compared to 87 in France, 69 in Germany and 59 inItaly report developers of a new £660 million gas storage site in Lancashire, Hailte Energy Group in October 2018.

The demand for gas

Between 2003 to 2017, natural gas consumption in the UK fell significantly from 92.7 million metric tons of oil equivalent to 36 million metric tons ofoil equivalent. According to EIA statistics, gas provided some 38 percent ofprimary energy needs in 2016. Heating accounts for the lion’s share of gas demandand this varies from day to day in line with the climate, season, and growing contribution of renewable power. In the absence of large-scale energy storage,the intermittency of renewable energy will increase the importance of gas fuelled peaking power plants.

UK gas supplies

The UK’s major utilityBritish Gas estimates that offshore fields in the North Sea and East Irish Sea supplied45 percent of the UK’s gas consumption in 2017. However, these domestic sources are in seminal decline and it is thought unlikely that Total’s discovery of Read more 

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