Europe could be facing serious gas shortages, as Russian President Vladimir Putin threatens to cut off gas supplies to the Ukraine within the ‘next three or four days’ if Kiev fails to pay – says the Energy and Utilities Alliance.
EUA chief executive Mike Foster says: “More gas storage is no longer ‘a nice to have’: it is critical to secure our continued energy supply and help protect the UK’s economic recovery.
“EUA has been urging the government to invest in more gas storage, even making our case directly to Michael Fallon MP when he was Energy minister. It is rather ironic that now, in his position as Defence Secretary, he is warning of the threat posed by Russia, even suggesting the Russian leader is ‘as great a threat to Europe as Islamic State’.
“More gas storage protects us as a nation. It helps bring stability, protects consumers from sudden price spikes, keeps the lights on, our factories running and prices down, while at the same time creating hundreds of new jobs. For the sake of less than £1 a year, households can be better protected from the risk of the UK running short of gas.
“”Businesses, especially intensive energy users, would be less likely to be told to stop production if the UK doubled its current gas storage capacity, retaining investment in the UK. Without it, high-energy users could choose to leave the UK in search of cheaper gas in places like the US, seriously affecting our competitiveness.
“Saying no to more storage is a huge gamble. The argument to invest is now about more than protecting us against cold weather: it has become one of national security. We need to secure our energy supplies at levels closer to our European neighbours and not take wholly unnecessary and expensive risks.”