Britain’s national grid may not be able to meet gas demand today
Freezing temperatures and supply problems means supplies are at a deficit on Thursday
Britain’s National Grid has issued a ‘gas deficit warning’ as fears mount that supplies could run empty amid extreme weather conditions
Irish gas and power supplies are not under threat due to peaking levels of demand despite capacity concerns in the UK.
The National Grid in Britain has issued a warning that it will not have enough gas to meet demand on Thursday.
It is thought unlikely the situation will affect supply to households, but if enough extra gas supplies by pipeline or ship are not forthcoming, it could affect industrial users, it said.
Authorities in Ireland have moved to reassure the public that similar difficulties will not be experienced here.
A spokesman for EirGrid, the body responsible for power supply through the national grid, said there was no issue with gas.
Ireland currently meets about 60 per cent of its power needs through renewable energy, mainly wind, and gas is responsible for virtually all of the rest.
In a statement, Gas Networks Ireland said it was aware of the National Grid deficit warning in the UK but said “there are currently no restrictions on gas supply to customers in Ireland”.
“Gas Networks Ireland is confident that current Irish gas demand can be met through the combination of our interconnector in Scotland and indigenous supplies from Corrib and Kinsale. We will continue to monitor the situation in the UK.”
The UK’s National Grid forecast for the day shows a shortfall across the day of 49.5m cubic metres of gas below the country’s projected need of 395.7mcm.
Widespread snow and temperatures of -7.8 degrees due to the “Beast from the East” and Storm Emma have prompted consumers to fire up their heating. Public health authorities recommend an indoor temperature of 18C.
As a result gas demand is at a five-year high, according to market watchers Platts.
The situation has been compounded by several outages to supply, including problems with a pipeline to the Netherlands, reductions in gas flows from Norway and technical issues at facilities in the UK, including the North Morecambe Barrow terminal.
The crunch is also the UK’s first major energy security test since the country’s biggest gas storage facility was closed by Centrica last year. The Rough site in the North Sea had accounted for 70 per cent of the UK’s gas storage. - Additional reporting The Guardian