Europe must use 10% less gas to avoid risk of blackouts

According to the International Energy Agency, gas consumption must be reduced by the Continent in order for it to remain safe & secure.

The global energy watchdog warned that Europe must reduce its gas consumption by at least ten per cent to avoid power rationing and blackouts in winter.

According to the International Energy Agency, the Continent and UK must reduce their gas consumption by 13 per cent in order to be “safe and secure” in the event that Russia cuts off all supplies.

This will ensure that gas facilities will be at least one-third full by March 2023 when the energy system is at its most vulnerable.

Failure to do so will expose countries to industrial power rationing, and possibly widespread blackouts that could affect businesses and homes in the event of a late-winter freeze such as the 2018 Beast from the East.

The prediction of the agency is based upon a worst-case scenario in which Russia shuts off the water supply and imports from liquified natural gases (LNG), do not continue at current high levels.

The IEA’s latest report on gas markets stated that Europe’s gas supply security is at unprecedented risk due to Russia’s use of natural gas as a political weapon.

“The possibility that Russian gas supplies will be cut off completely cannot be discounted ahead of the heating season when the European gas system’s vulnerability is highest.

“Our analysis shows that adequate storage levels up to the end of the heating season – at least 33pc of their maximum working storage capacity – is crucial for a safe winter.”

It is important to reduce gas demand in winter because it will make storage facilities more available for next summer’s demands. Next summer will be a new challenge as Europe must replenish its stock without Russian supply.

This warning was issued by National Grid’s chief executive, who warned British households that blackouts could occur on the coldest nights of January and February.

John Pettrigrew, told the Financial Times that the “unlikely” situation was possible in the “deepest, darkest evenings” if generators failed to secure enough gas from Europe during the peak hours of 4 pm to 7 pm.

The IEA shared these concerns and warned that a cold snap late in winter is still the Achilles heel of Europe’s energy system.

The report by the agency examined three scenarios, based on energy savings of 0, 9% and 13%, respectively. It also discussed how these scenarios would impact the gas storage available in the event of a cold snap at the beginning of March 2023.

The worst scenario is that there are no energy savings, LNG imports are lower than expected, and Russia cuts off all supplies.

This would result in storage levels of just 5 percent, and the resulting shortage in gas supplies could cause widespread blackouts that affect households, businesses, and factories.

If LNG imports are at their current high levels, storage would decrease to 18pc. However, that was still enough to require widespread gas rationing for industry and possible power outages affecting other areas of society.

The IEA stated that power rationing can be avoided in most areas of the economy if energy savings are made of 9pc to 13pc compared with the five-year average.

If there are 13pc savings and no decreases in LNG supplies, the storage levels will be strong at 45pc for the cold snap.

On Monday, the EU was also reported to be drafting “last resort” measures in order to reduce gas prices in the case of a supply shortage.

These would enable Brussels to impose a maximum dynamic price, according to the Financial Times.

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