British Gas owner warns of potential winter gas shortage in the UK

Chris O’Shea, has stated that a combination of low wind and cold weather could lead to insufficient gas-fired generation to meet electricity demands

Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has raised concerns over the UK’s gas supply for the upcoming winter.

Chief Executive Chris O’Shea highlighted the challenges posed by low wind and high demand, which could lead to insufficient gas-fired generation to meet electricity needs.

In an interview with Sky News, O’Shea pointed out the shift in the UK’s electricity sources, with renewables contributing to 70% of the energy last Saturday, but currently accounting for around 20%.

As a result, gas plays a significant role, providing 40% of the country’s electricity during periods of low wind.

“If we have a very cold spell in the winter along with no wind then we may not have enough gas-fired generation to generate the electricity, we need a lot of technologies to have a resilient electricity system,” O’Shea remarked.

Mr O’Shea emphasised the importance of increasing gas storage capacity to ensure a resilient energy system.

Presently, the UK has approximately 12 days’ worth of average gas storage, which is considerably lower than several European countries, the boss of Centrica explained.

He added: “That is materially behind what we see in Europe so France for example is 123 days, in the Netherlands 110, in Germany about 90.”

Urgent discussions with the government are ongoing to secure regulatory support for enhancing Rough’s gas reserves and mitigating the potential shortage.

“At the moment, we don’t have an agreement on that (increasing gas storage capacity),” O’Shea said, referring to discussions with the government for regulatory support.

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