Ukraine (bbabo.net), - Demand for gas in the UK has grown so much that gas exports from the country have dropped sharply. And the power grid operator gave the command to heat up two coal-fired power plants on Monday. With the current consumption of the country's storage facilities, it will only last a month and a half. The wholesale price of electricity in the UK has increased five times in a month.
UK grid operator National Grid ESO issued a warning to heat up two additional coal-fired power plants out of three on Monday.
“This measure should give the public confidence in the power supply on Monday,” the operator says. They explained that the stations will be launched if necessary - if demand grows.
In recent days, cooling has come to the UK, and weather forecasters predict minus 10 degrees Celsius in some regions of the country. The founder of Steno Research, Andreas Steno Larsen, writes on Twitter that Europe has the worst weather cocktail for generations - cold, dry and windless. This has led to a significant increase in gas consumption for electricity generation. According to the National Grid ESO, the share of gas generation in the UK on Saturday, December 9, was 62%. While the green accounted for less than 10%.
According to UK-Grid, today the hourly share of gas generation has grown to 66%. As a result, the wholesale price of electricity reached record highs in August. On the NordPool exchange, electricity in the UK is traded for tomorrow's delivery at EUR 664 per MWh. This is five times more expensive than a month ago.
The high consumption of gas for electricity generation has already affected both gas exports and withdrawals from storage facilities.
Thus, according to ENTSOG, since December 5, deliveries to the EU have decreased from 55 million cubic meters per day to 17 million on December 10. At the same time, gas withdrawals from storage facilities increased to 20 million cubic meters per day. At this pace, the UK will have enough supplies for 45 days, GIE data says.
The monitoring association GIE does not indicate gas volumes and withdrawals from the Rough storage, which Centrica proposed to fill in September. However, its volumes were planned at the level of 900 million cubic meters, which is now in other storage facilities, and withdrawal may also last only until the middle of winter.
The UK has small storage facilities and relies on constant gas imports from Norway and LNG terminals.
Distribution company British Gas has urged Britons to cut their gas consumption by 30% this winter and is offering to pay £4 per appliance if it is not used during peak consumption hours. The scheme has the potential to save customers up to £100 over the winter and will run from December 2022 to March 2023.
The Independent reported that the British authorities planned the option of shutting down gas-fired power plants and rolling blackouts in case of gas shortages. “We are working on very serious scenarios. These are not unlikely scenarios,” said one senior energy planner.
The decrease in gas supplies from the UK to the EU countries will come as an unpleasant surprise for the EU, as this is one of the directions that this year has become an alternative to Russian exports.
On the one hand, some European companies receive LNG through terminals in the UK. On the other hand, the rest of the volumes are resold in the EU by British traders, who, obviously, have stopped deliveries. So far, the exchange price of gas in the UK and the EU remains at the same level - in the region of $ 1,500 per thousand cubic meters.