The UK is becoming rapidly in need of finding an alternative fuel source, as the security of the current supply is at risk.
The rate at which the UK currently import natural gas is expected to rise faster than the government previously estimated. Seeing that Russia is currently a major supplier to a large proportion of western countries using pipelines through Ukraine, the current political crises warrants the continuing supply of natural gas to be uncertain.
The production rate of oil and gas in the UK through, for example, the North Sea is at a rapid decline, since 2011, North Sea oil and gas output has decreased by 38%. It is expected that by 2020, the UK will rely on imported natural gas to meet 70% of the countries demands. This means that the UK is in great need of either increasing production or finding an alternative means of supply. Investment in this areas was greatly decreased almost to a standstill due to areas of political intervention.
So far, the UK currently import around 50% of its natural gas, 15% of which comes from The Gulf State. In a bid to reduce the amount of demand and the curb current emissions, by the end of 2015 a total of 3.7gigawatts of coal fired generators will be shut down.
Speaking at an international energy conference in Houston Sam Laidlaw (Centrica’s Chief Executive) has advised “when it comes to security of supply, there is a pressing need for solutions”. Tom Greatrex, Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West has advised that “it is vitally important we continue with an approach of developing a balanced energy mix”.