Energy UK’s Emma Pinchbeck on ELN: “Energy crisis is an unusual black swan event”

Energy UK’s Chief Executive said that the crisis exposed the real vulnerability of the UK’s retail industry

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The UK’s energy price crisis is a sort of unusual black swan event.

That’s the suggestion from Emma Pinchbeck, Energy UK Chief Executive Officer, who spoke to ELN about the energy crisis: “It’s an international crisis, that’s the first thing to say, we have had a 300% increase in the gas price this year. I don’t think anyone could characterise that as anything other than a sort of unusual black swan event internationally.

“The impacts on the UK have been more serious than in other places, and I think on the security of supply side, we feel confident about the autumn-winter period, which is even though we are a significant importer of gas.”

Asked about the drivers of this crisis and if it is just the gas price hikes that led to the current turbulence in UK’s energy market, or it is something that’s been years in the making as a result of delayed policies to insulate Britain’s homes and diversify the energy supply, Ms Pinchbeck said: “There’s an argument about even if we are going in the right direction, even if we have got a good track record in terms of decarbonising power sector and even if the government is now making the right choices, whether they could have gone quicker.

“We are waiting on the heat and building strategy still and in the long run getting off-gas in our homes and on into other sources of low carbon heating and improving the quality of our building stock will also help consumers be insulated from price rises. And that is a problem that we haven’t done anywhere near enough for four decades.”

Responding to recent comments by OPEC Secretary-General that soaring gas prices are the cost of the attempted shift to renewable energy sources, she said: “OPEC must be absolutely terrified that everyone suddenly realised that oil and gas are a volatile international commodity. So, I don’t think that’s a surprising comment, I don’t think it’s the take of any agnostic energy analyst.”

Watch the full interview.

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