Essay by Eric Worrall
WUWT recently reported how Conservative Party rebels sabotaged Liz Truss’ attempt to increase domestic gas availability by allowing fracking. Britain might be about to pay the price.
National Grid warns Britons of blackouts on ‘really cold’ evenings
FT conference hears of various ‘unlikely’ scenarios in which UK might not have sufficient energy
Nathalie Thomas, Energy Correspondent OCTOBER 18 2022
National Grid’s chief executive has warned British households to prepare for blackouts between 4pm and 7pm on “really, really cold” weekdays in January and February in the event of reduced gas imports from Europe.
John Pettigrew said the company would have to impose rolling power cuts on “those deepest darkest evenings in January and February” if generators failed to secure enough gas from the continent to meet demand, particularly if the country suffers a cold snap.
Pettigrew’s comments at the Financial Times’s Energy Transition Summit came after National Grid, which oversees Britain’s electricity and gas systems, this month took the unusual step of setting out various “unlikely” scenarios in which Britain might not have sufficient energy supplies this winter.
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In those “worst case” circumstances, power would be cut off to parts of the country for up to three hours “probably between 4pm and 7pm in the evenings on those weekdays when it’s really, really cold in January and February”, Pettigrew said.
Britain and Europe could have a mild winter – that possibility exists. The British MET are forecasting a mild winter, though they haven’t ruled out the possibility of cold spells.
If winter weather turns nasty, there could be severe energy shortages.
I doubt Russian gas will come to the rescue. There seems little prospect of an imminent outbreak of common sense in the Russia / Ukraine conflict. Both sides are currently trading claims the other side wants to detonate a radioactive dirty bomb in Kherson.
So long as the conflict drags on, Europe will remain cut off from previously reliable Russian gas supplies. What gas does get through will be subject to geopolitical games.
President Biden offered US gas to Europe, but the plan to export US gas to Britain and Europe could break down this winter. The US North East is running short of gas, thanks to energy policy incompetence, so if the North East winter turns cold, it seems likely there will be demands for the diversion of any US fossil fuel exports back to US consumers.
The situation in Europe without Russian gas is dire. Germany is so worried about energy shortages they are preparing for riots, preparing special federal police squads to maintain order in the event of a general breakdown in society – so I doubt Germany would agree to giving Britain any of their share of European gas supplies.
Britain has a large electricity inter-connector to France, so Britain can access French nuclear capacity. But France is currently experiencing major problems with their nuclear reactors, a sizeable fraction of their nuclear fleet has been shut down for maintenance, because of corrosion concerns. If winter turns cold, France would most likely take care of their own people first, and keep their energy for themselves.
Liz Truss, to her credit, tried to do something about the shortages, but British Conservative rebels sabotaged Liz Truss’ gallant, last ditch attempt to increase domestic gas availability, by attaching a prolonged review process to any attempts to permit fracking. I had my doubts about Liz, but she really put herself on the line to try to alleviate Britain’s horror winter energy shortage – only to be torn down by short sighted fools in her own party.
So it seems very likely indeed that Britain will face at least some periods of energy and heating insecurity this winter.
If this winter turns cold, and the power and heat fails, civil unrest and riots could break out.
I don’t think the politicians who wrecked Britain and Germany’s energy security fully appreciate where the mess they have created could lead. They seem complacently confident they are safe from any unrest amongst the peasants.
Update from Breitbart, New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has reinstated the fracking ban.
via Watts Up With That?
October 27, 2022 at 08:37AM