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The UK will have enough energy to go through next winter as it saves gas and electricity and has more LNG coming in than in previous years, the UK’s Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps told Bloomberg in an interview published on Thursday.
“The question’s not — as people were saying at the beginning — will the lights go out?” but rather “what will the cost be? The market will solve it,” Shapps told Bloomberg.
The UK government launched at the beginning of this winter a $22 million (£18 million) campaign, ‘It All Adds Up’, advising the public on simple actions to cut bills by bringing down the amount of energy needed to keep homes warm and stay safe. The actions include reducing the temperature a boiler heats water to before it is sent to radiators from 75?C to 60?C, which will not reduce the temperature of the home but could save on energy bills. Other tips are to turn appliances off at the plug and reduce heating loss from the property, such as putting draught excluders around doors or adding clear film across windows.
Milder weather at the start of this winter and continued LNG flows to the UK and Europe have helped ease the energy crisis and have brought down UK wholesale natural gas prices by some 70% since their peak in August last year.
UK energy firm Centrica also reopened in October its Rough natural gas storage site — which was closed five years ago — to boost storage capacity by 50% for this winter. Rough was closed in 2017 when the UK had enough gas supply from the North Sea, Norway, and northwestern Europe and was betting on receiving LNG supply. Rough will be operating at around 20% of its previous capacity this winter, Centrica said, but this immediately makes it the UK’s largest gas storage site once again and adds 50% to the UK’s gas storage volume.
The UK Business and Energy Secretary will look for opportunities for gas storage, but Britain’s power interconnections “are very good actually,” Shapps told Bloomberg.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.