London, Thursday 1st March
Our CEO Peter Bance spoke with Vishala Sri-Pathma on the BBC news at lunchtime, commenting on the National Grid’s gas supply warning.
Will the gas tanks be empty or is it a warning?
The gas tanks aren’t yet empty, it’s a warning. Not only is it cold but there also some supply constraints upstream. These two things mean the UK energy system is under pressure.
They have said large users could be stopped from consuming – how can they hold large users accountable?
We need to protect consumers in their home first, so you start by turning down gas fired power stations and ensuring that large users of gas turn down their use. The UK needs look at this from both regulatory and economic viewpoints, to make sure the consumer doesn’t get hit.
Surely there are ripple effects – businesses need gas to run their business – will there be an impact on business?
There will be an impact on business but there are a number of tools to fix this for the long term. You can price consumption in a way which encourages people to change the way they use and generate energy, without impacting business operations when these supply shocks come. That means being proactive not reactive.
National Grid have issued a warning. What does this mean for the long term? What do they see?
What National Grid is seeing is a system impact. We are going green as a country, using cleaner fuels and renewables. Our move away from traditional power stations means that we have less “energy flexibility” to help balance our energy systems. The long-term direction of travel is to use cleaner fossil fuel and more renewables, but to enable this, you need “energy flexibility”. Traditionally where this flexibility came from was large, carbon-intensive generation which could rev up and down easily. The big challenge here is to keep the energy systems together without prices to end users going completely haywire as we decarbonise the system – this is ‘The Big Challenge’ for government and National Grid.
Do you think this puts pressure on them to look at more renewable sources?
Yes, and also more system flexibility. When prices spike and supplies are constrained, if you invest in technology that can manage flexibility you don’t have to build your way out of problems – you can think your way out of them, which is way cheaper and more sustainable.”
Energy flexibility can be monetised by industrial and commercial businesses, and can help provide security and resilience to the energy systems. Read more on this here.
Give us a call on 0330 726 0050 to speak to one of our experts. Alternatively you can send us a message and we’ll get back to you.