The risk of power cuts to factories and homes this winter has increased, the National Grid warned, as the business secretary prepared for a crucial meeting with industry bosses concerned about the energy crisis .forcing them to cut back on production.
The price of gas and electricity has skyrocketed in recent weeks, leading to the collapse of several gas suppliers. 'energy and prompt warnings Higher costs to consumers, plant closures and increased pollution as factories switch to dirtier but cheaper fuels.
The ongoing energy crisis has coincided with the annual Grid Assessment of Britain's Resilience to the Disruption of the electricity supplies there, the key “margin” figure falling to its lowest level in five years.
The Grid Electric System (ESO) manager has indicated the amount of reserve electricity supply that could be called up to 6, 6% of demand, but could drop to 4.2%.
He said he thought there was enough slack in the system to avoid breakdowns affecting households and factories.
But he said conditions had worsened since a prediction he made in July, after a fire has turn off a high voltage submarine power cable import electricity from target France . Half of the 2GW cable should be unavailable until March.
Planned shutdowns at large power plants and the decommissioning of two nuclear reactors are also factors in the tighter margin for winter.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, is due to meet with executives from industries such as steel, glass, ceramics and chemicals on Friday, but should tell them to forget about getting extra help.
While factories shouldn't be dealing with power outages, they say they need help with costs. Some of the most energy-intensive industries have asked the government for financial support to help them cope with soaring energy prices.
They say the cost of electricity could force plant closures, production slowdowns and the switch from gas to more polluting energy sources such as fuel oil, which could cause embarrassment before the next Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.
Shadow Minister for Business Ed Miliband said the gas price crisis was "made for Downing Street ".
" The UK is particularly vulnerable to increases in gas prices because the government allowed our gas storage closures , blocking onshore wind, reducing solar subsidies, blocking our nuclear program and due to their utter failure to implement a long-term plan for energy efficiency. "
On Thursday, the Grid said the UK would have to outbid European countries to get gas over the winter, indicating additional pressure on prices .
Cornwall Insight Energy Advisory Group said the average dual fuel bill could increase by up to 30% next year if fuel prices gas and electricity continue to skyrocket and moreage of suppliers go bankrupt, reaching £ 1,660 per year.
While the government has imposed a cap on energy prices, the cap is rising steadily in line with the costs faced by suppliers, which have been battered by soaring wholesale prices.
So far this year, 12 suppliers have joined. collapsed, and many more are expected to go to the wall by the end of the year. Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of energy regulator Ofgem, told an industry conference on Thursday that the watchdog needed to be "more focused on business models and the risks they face." behave "in the future.
Speaking at the same event, Kwarteng said the government " will not bail out failed companies, there can be no reward for irresponsible management of business ".
Some of the smaller suppliers were criticized for setting up risky business models that meant they were not properly "hedged" against rising gas prices.
Officials of the Ministry of Business, Energy and industrial strategy consider measures to accelerate the UK's transition to renewables to reduce dependence on gas, including more frequent wind farms.
Boris Johnson pledged this week to phase out fossil fuels from the power generation by 2035.
While coal has been virtually phased out of power generation, gas can still account for over 50% of the supply on non-frit when the sun isn't shining.
Kwarteng said on Thursday that reducing dependency would involve boosting wind power, gas-fired power plants that use the carbon capture and storage to reduce carbon emissions and "at least " a nuclear project.
The government should endorse the company's plans to French public energy EDF for a Sizewell C reactor in Suffolk, but has not yet found a developer for Wylfa Newydd, in Anglesey.
authorities are developing plans to overhaul the way nuclear power plants are financed, in order to make them more attractive to private investors.
Kwarteng said that "the volatility of the gas prices have shown that we need to plan strategically, and I think net zero helps us do that, for a secure, affordable and sustainable energy system. "
Gas prices have skyrocketed across Europe, but have been particularly high in the UK, reaching record highs above £ 4 per therm.
The International Energy Agency said on Thursday that Russia could help ease the crisis, telling the Financial Times that the Kremlin was able to increase gas flows to the 'Europe up to 15%.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Europe "mistakes " are to blame for the crisis, rather than any reluctance in Moscow to turn on the gas taps.
However, he took the opportunity to highlight the regulatory delays in Europe at the new North gas pipeline Stream 2, claiming that the planned connection could help lower prices.