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Britain Will Not Face Energy Crisis this Winter Says National Grid

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The UK's power suppliers have had a torrid time recently, with over twenty of them declaring bankruptcy. The country also faces rising prices and increased demand. The National Grid attempted to reduce anxiety by claiming that there was sufficient capacity to meet demand during the peak times of winter.

National Grid Chief Executive John Pettigrew says, “Based on our winter outlook reports, we see sufficient capacity both on the gas and on the electricity side."

European wholesale gas and electricity prices have risen sharply due to lower-than-usual gas stocks this summer, reduced supply from Russia, and the onset of colder temperatures. In the UK, high wholesale gas prices have contributed to an across-the-board increase in power prices, as gas plants account for around 40 per cent of electricity generation in Britain.

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The UK only holds sufficient gas reserves to meet the demand for up to four or five winter days, that is, just one per cent of Europe’s total available storage. Many other European nations have at least quadruple the storage. Rising prices are putting a serious strain on industrial consumers as well as residential users of power.

However, the National Grid reported healthy half-year financial results and raised its annual earnings forecast. Earnings per share is expected to be more than 7 per cent and half-yearly operating profits were up 47 per cent or £1.41 billion ($1.88 billion). The company has benefited from the early opening of the North Sea Link electricity interconnector running between UK and Norway. This power cable is worth 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) and began commercial operations early last month. This is a welcome boost for the UK's energy security this winter.

 

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