De-carbonisation of heat will be an expensive challenge

In the last few weeks there have been a number of announcements by the Government and others on the challenging subject of the de-carbonisation of heat.  Heating and cooling currently accounts for nearly half of UK energy consumption, and around 50% of UK emissions from heating are associated with space heating and hot water in…

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Recent gas price spikes increase risks for small suppliers

After a few quiet years, the gas markets are going through some interesting times. Although the global supply glut continues, with tightening not expected until the 2020s, short-run supply and demand fluctuations are causing significant gas price spikes. According to Timera Energy, European gas demand (net of reverse flow) increased by 17 Bcm in 2017…

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National Grid issues gas deficit warning as cold weather bites

As the UK shivers under attack from the “Beast from the East” – this morning National Grid issued a Gas Deficit Warning, indicating that the gas system was almost 48 million cubic metres (“mcm”) short relative to forecast demand. At 05:00, National Grid was expecting demand to reach 395 mcm for the day, with around…

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Life after Rough: what next for the UK gas market?

Last week the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) announced that it has provisionally accepted an application from Centrica for the company to be released from the historic undertakings relating to the Rough gas storage facility. The application came on the back of Centrica’s decision in June to close the facility on the basis that the…

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US shale gas enters the GB energy mix

On Saturday the LNG carrier Maran Gas Mystras docked at National Grid’s Isle of Grain facility bringing with it the UK’s first cargo of US LNG since a small cargo that arrived at the Canvey Island terminal in 1964. This new shipment, enough to meet around half of the UK’s average daily summer demand, is…

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What does the closure of Rough storage mean?

On Tuesday, Centrica announced the permanent closure of Rough, its large seasonal gas storage facility. This is the UK’s only long-term gas storage asset, with a capacity equivalent to about 10% of winter peak demand and 70% of the country’s total gas storage capacity, so its closure marks the start of a new period in…

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The shifting sands of the UK gas market

The UK gas market is facing unprecedented changes, with a conflation of declining North Sea production, threats to the UK’s gas storage capability, and of course, Brexit. Historically, UK gas came almost entirely from domestic production, with a small amount of imports from Norway, however over the past decade the UK’s North Sea output has been…

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Decarbonising with hydrogen: more hot air?

Hydrogen gas has been mooted as a possible solution to the challenge of decarbonising heating, one of the major sources along with electricity generation and transport, of carbon emissions. Notably, the city of Leeds in the UK is investigating converting its entire gas network from natural gas (which is mostly methane) to hydrogen. The question is…

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