Home Business News MPs are drawing up plans to ration electricity in worst case scenario if Russia cuts off supplies to EU this winter

MPs are drawing up plans to ration electricity in worst case scenario if Russia cuts off supplies to EU this winter

by LLB political Reporter
30th May 22 11:17 am

The government has been warned of potential power cuts this winter which could affect up to six million households and MPs are now drawing up plans to ration electricity if Russia cuts supplies to the EU.

The Times has reported that modelling of the “reasonable” worst case scenario predicts that their could be major gas shortages this winter should Russia cut off supplies.

The Times reported that the government may introduce limits on the use of industrial gas which includes gas fired power stations which would therefore create electricity shortages.

The modelling shows that in the worst case scenario should Russia cut off all supplies to the EU then millions of homes could see rationing in the morning and evening peaks which could last for a month or more.

A Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson told the PA news agency the UK “has no issues with either gas or electricity supply, and the government is fully prepared for any scenario, even those that are extreme and very unlikely to pass.

“Thanks to a massive £90bn investment in renewable energy in the last decade, we have one of the most reliable and diverse energy systems in the world.

“And unlike Europe, we are not dependent on Russian energy imports.”

A government spokesperson told PA that they have requested for the power stations in Drax, Ratcliffe and West Burton to stay open amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine as they were due to close in September.

“It is only right that we explore a wide range of options to further bolster our energy security and domestic supply – bringing down costs in the long-term,” the spokesperson said.

“While there is no shortage of supply, we may need to make our remaining coal-fired power stations available to provide additional back-up electricity this coming winter if needed.

“It remains our firm commitment to end the use of coal power by October 2024.”

Simon Tucker, Managing Partner & Head of Energy EMEA at Infosys Consulting said, “Rationing cannot be ruled out if Russia goes further to cut off supplies to the EU. Britain may buy only less than 4% of gas directly from Russia, but its connection to European markets means there will likely be a bidding battle as nations look for supplies elsewhere, especially North America and the Middle East.

“Energy intensive industries like car makers and cryptocurrency mining will be the first to feel the effect of rationing if competition for supply continues to drive prices up further into next winter.

“There are ways to mitigate this, and the government’s investment into renewable energy over the past decade will shield the UK from the harshest effects of the gas shortages. What’s clear is we’ve now reached a point where accelerating the mass deployment of domestic energy alternatives like mini nuclear reactors and community renewables is not just a ‘nice to have’, but an imperative.”

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