Energy crisis: UK expands gas emergency exercise ahead of winter

Posted: August 23, 2022 by oldbrew in Energy, government
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Ministers ‘insist’ there will be no blackouts, but is anyone comforted by that? They’ve already contracted some extra power from coal that was supposed to be being phased out. Maybe they’re relying on the high price of energy cutting demand.
– – –
A regular emergency planning exercise to help the UK prepare for the possibility of a shortage of gas supplies has been doubled in size, reports BBC News.

Potential scenarios – including rationing electricity – will be wargamed over four days, rather than the usual two, as energy concerns grow.

The government insists there is no risk to UK energy supplies and consumers should not panic.

But industry say ministers need to do more to secure supplies this winter.

The National Grid exercise, which gets under way next month, will involve government agencies, regulators, lobby groups and major energy firms.

Called Exercise Degree, it will simulate scenarios in which a loss of gas supply triggers an emergency situation for the UK’s energy system.

A global squeeze on the supply of gas since late last year has destabilised the global economy, increased living costs, and sent household energy bills skyrocketing.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng does not appear to have sought any advice from government officials on the possibility of rationing energy – a BBC Freedom of Information request found he had not done so before the end of June.

Energy experts have expressed surprise, particularly as other countries are working on such plans.

Government sources said this was because the UK had one of the most “reliable and diverse energy systems in the world” thanks to its investment in renewables, nuclear and the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Downing Street has insisted households and businesses will not face blackouts this winter, telling them not to feel they should cut down on energy use.

Full report here.
– – –
BULLYS BEEF (IAN BULLOUGH) — £6 a KWh NOT to use electricity between 5pm and 8pm
‘Well, it looks like the probability of power cuts this winter is even higher than I first imagined…Time to buy some candles, I think.’

  1. […] Energy crisis: UK expands gas emergency exercise ahead of winter | Tallbloke’s Talkshop (wordp… […]

  2. Gamecock says:

    Get a kerosene space heater to go with them candles. You’ll get used to the smell.

    Perhaps GWPF can start a daily posting of ways to panic. Ways to deal with 4-day power outages.

  3. Stephen Richards says:

    Why would anyone believe a single word emanating from the UK government ? Why ? After the past 3 years

  4. ivan says:

    Why should they be worried, after all enough sheep got so called ‘smart meters’ to cut power that will allow the politicians, members of the CCC and the mandarins of the civil service to have all the power they need.

    The other thing is the country need to crank up the coal fired power stations, including any mothballed ones and stop relying on gas turbines and windmills.

  5. Saighdear says:

    UK gas storage? didn’t we get rid of many “Gasometers” ? Kwasi goin gon about rationing power at ,unchtime news…. or did I get that wrong… the way they tell the news – Grammar, Subject, object predicate, etc – so long ago I’ve forgotten – but got a way drummed into me / us at the time. … and who runs their washing machine at teatime ? if I don’t I get £6 according to DMail report ? … Hoops n roundabouts – Press the red Button – best cure as for Covid.
    Oh Noses. it’s bucketing rain again and there’s no wind to power the tumble drier. wet clothes drying in the house is good for the Soul: puts it to Rest!

  6. oldbrew says:

    ‘need to crank up the coal fired power stations’

    They are doing that, but only 4 or 5 still available.
    – – –
    Rough gas storage site is coming back it seems, despite Kwarteng’s ‘red herring’…

    Just over a year ago, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng dismissed concerns raised by MPs on a parliamentary select committee over rising gas prices and a reliance on Russian gas. He said he was not convinced by calls for more domestic gas storage and described criticism of the closure of the Rough storage facility as “a bit of a red herring”.

  7. oldbrew says:

    No worries…??

    National Grid warns of three-year energy crisis as emergency effort launched to cut factory power use

    Plans drawn up to pay industrial companies to shut down for next three winters
    23 August 2022

    Industry chiefs are preparing for the energy crisis to last for another three years as National Grid draws up emergency plans to reduce power demand from factories across Britain.

    Large industrial companies would be paid to cut gas usage every winter until 2025 as National Grid attempts to avoid uncontrolled blackouts that would cause “a major economic and societal impact”.
    . . .
    National Grid’s draft proposals recommend making payments of up to £5m this winter for factories that cut production if the gas crisis escalates because of the war in Ukraine.

    It has warned that factory owners face compulsory gas rationing if they do not put in bids for the so-called Demand Side Response (DSR) payments.

  8. oldbrew says:

    No crisis…

    First Australian gas shipment to UK for six years arrives in Kent
    24 AUGUST 2022

  9. Gamecock says:

    “It has warned that factory owners face compulsory gas rationing if they do not put in bids for the so-called Demand Side Response (DSR) payments.”

    Government is attempting to push its failure onto industry. Industry won’t stand for it; they’ll move. They will not play energy games with the government.

    “A lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine.”

    What we see here is 1. excessive government power, and 2. idiots in government wielding that power. These are obviously politicians who have no actual, real world experience. Rush Limbaugh called it “rule by the Harvard faculty lounge,” when Obama was president. Academics sitting around talking about how things ought to be.

    ‘”Large industrial companies would be paid to cut gas usage every winter until 2025 as National Grid attempts to avoid uncontrolled blackouts that would cause “a major economic and societal impact”.’

    Here’s a clue: THIS would cause “a major economic and societal impact.” It guarantees it.

  10. ivan says:

    The other thing is for the government to approve the use of the RR Modular Reactors rather sharpish – they don’t need all the stupid regulations imposed because of the Greenham Common demonstrations by a load of ignorant women.

    There is no need for emergency cut-outs stacked on emergency cut-outs ensuring that non of them will work in an emergency.

  11. Stuart Brown says:

    Ivan, to be fair, the Greenham Common protest was about having US nuclear weapons on UK soil. And a bit of oversight before we start rolling out new reactors might be a good idea. But…

    ONR do the licensing of nuclear stuff in the UK, and they were asked to look at the RR design on April 1st. So far the only mention I can see is this:

    “We have been asked by The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to begin a Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for Rolls Royce SMR Ltd’s 470MW Small Modular Reactor design.

    BEIS made the request to the ONR, Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales following its readiness review of the Rolls Royce application.

    This review concluded that the design is ready to enter the GDA process. The assessment will begin once the necessary arrangements around timescales and resources have been put in place.”

    So working flat out then… (It did take 5 months from the request to look at the EPR to the first update, so something may appear soon.)

    Trying to add something on-topic, the first RR reactor won’t be built until the end of the decade at best so is not going to help with this winter, or the next!

  12. ivan says:

    Stuart, so you are saying that the 651 employees of ONR can’t get their act together and do the evaluation in less than 5 months plus. If so they should all be sacked and some real engineers brought in to do the job.

    I know the regulations are very obtuse and brought on as a result of the nuclear demo at Greenham Common where the fear of anything nuclear was started.

  13. oldbrew says:

    UK wind power currently at 2.4% of 29.5 GW as another high pressure system drifts in. Gas 53.6%.

    Tell us again how more and more wind power is the best way out of the energy crisis.

  14. oldbrew says:

    Another energy policy failure…

    AUGUST 26, 2022
    Lights out? Swiss brace for looming power shortages

    ‘Switzerland is among the world’s wealthiest countries, but its reliance on Russian gas and French nuclear power—both in short supply—has it bracing for power shortages and even blackouts this winter.’

  15. Stuart Brown says:

    Ivan, I’m just an armchair keyboard warrior, what do I know? Maybe furious activity is taking place and it’s just the folks who run the ONR website that need to tell us about committees and ‘meet our people’ rather than what is being done to assess Rolls Royce. But the assessment of the EPR took nearly 5 YEARS from Apr 2007 to December 2012. Ditto the assessment of the Chinese HPR1000 that will probably never be built, and that they’ve just wrapped up in February this year.

    I could believe they have decent engineers but lack the sort of fire breathing project managers I used to enjoy working with. And I’m seriously wondering about getting a genny.

  16. Bizarre as it may sound, we follow a timeline similar to WW2 only 80 years ago. Thus blackouts etc. could be expected. This is what you get when there’s a war on.

    If the National Grid are talking about a 3 year energy crisis this would take us to the equivalent of 1945 when WW2 ended. History repeating itself because nobody listened the first time.

  17. […] Energy crisis: UK expands gas emergency exercise ahead of winter — Tallbloke’s Talkshop […]

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