The UK would be vulnerable to gas supply shortages and price hikes after Brexit, an industry leader has warned.
head of European industry body GasNaturally, told the BBC that European Union (EU)
nations could restrict gas exports to the UK during winter cold snaps in order
to prioritise their own citizens.
spoken to several ministers and civil servants over the last two years. Energy
has not been discussed enough.”
imports almost half the gas it consumes via pipelines from Europe.
Some 39 per cent of the UK’s electricity supply was generated from natural gas last year, according to official government statistics.
make [energy security] a high priority point in the discussions, and I haven’t
seen it be like that,” said Mr Alvera, who is also the chief executive of
Italian gas pipeline company Snam, which owns a minority stake in one of the
two main UK-Europe gas pipelines.
He added that
EU nations would also theoretically have the ability to impose tariffs on their
gas and electricity exports to the UK post-Brexit.
The UK has become
overly dependent on imported natural gas to meet its winter fuel needs, Mr
He said this
was because the UK’s own North Sea gas supplies had wound down, while at the
same time the country had shut down much of its gas storage infrastructural
one of the consequences of global warming is more extreme temperatures in the
summer and in the winter,” he told the Business Daily programme on BBC
World Service radio.
week when we had the ‘Beast from the East’ very cold spell coming, the system
was already under a lot of strain, and the UK was taking a lot of gas from
Europe that was stored in Europe.”
The UK could
remedy the situation relatively easily, he said, by converting old exhausted
North Sea gas fields into gas storage facilities.
also claimed that much of the UK’s gas imports originated from Russia, having
been piped across the rest of Europe.
The extent of
UK reliance on Russian gas has been a source of controversy since the Novichok
poisonings in Salisbury in March last year.
Less that 1per cent of UK gas consumption last year came directly from Russia as liquefied natural gas imports. –BBC
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