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GMB Says UK Gas Shortage Warning ‘A Sobering Reminder’ About Need For Domestic Gas Production

01st March 2018

GMB Scotland has today (Thursday 1 March) said the National Grid’s warning that the UK will not have enough gas to meet demand while the cold weather continues is ‘a sobering reminder’ about the need for domestic gas production in our energy future.

Increasing demand as a result of the ‘Beast from the East’ cold front has led to an estimated shortfall of 48 million cubic meters of gas (around 14 per cent of domestic demand) across the UK as demand peaked at a six-year high overnight. 

But high business and consumer demand in Europe and problems with the UK’s interconnecter networks with export markets like Norway and the Netherlands means the National Grid will now have to reimburse domestic gas production firms to limit and preserve domestic supply. 

Last year, amid the debate over fracking in the Scottish Parliament, GMB Scotland commissioned the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Energy Policy to produce a report, ’Natural Gas in the Energy Policy of the UK and Scotland’, which explained that seventy per cent of UK heating is currently provided by natural gas, with eight out of ten households using natural gas for heating.

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: "The National Grid’s decision to issue a ‘gas deficit warning’ to the market is a sobering reminder of the fragility in our domestic energy supply and should reignite the debate over our energy future. 

Around 1.9 million Scottish households depend on gas as their primary heating source, independent analysis shows the choice facing Scotland is not one of whether to include gas in our energy mix for the foreseeable future, but where the gas will come from? 

Scotland and indeed the rest of the UK could and should be self-sufficient and its a fundamental failure in our politics that we are increasingly reliant on imported gas, not just from the likes of Norway and the Netherlands but also Russia and the Middle East. 

Unfortunately the direction of travel on domestic gas policy is a prescription for economic instability, rising consumer costs and ultimately, increasing levels of fuel poverty for hundreds of thousands of families. 

GMB is clear that we need a balanced energy policy which uses all our viable sources as we make the transition towards a low-carbon economy - but the continued pandering of many politicians to a superficial green lobby means more gas shortages will be inevitable." 

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