Politicians should take note: an energy crisis is quietly building | Nils Pratley
Over-reliance on gas as ‘transition’ source of energy and system’s lack of resilience is being exposed
Price spikes in the global energy market are meant to happen during the cold months of a northern hemisphere winter, which is why their arrival now is alarming. It suggests the current mini-crisis – which, embarrassingly, is seeing the UK shovel millions in the direction of coal plant producers just ahead of the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow – has the potential to become much worse come January or February.
As ever in the energy market, it takes a combination of factors to produce a price surge of the degree seen on Monday in the UK – record levels for short-term electricity prices. Wind speeds have been low across northern Europe for most of the year. The UK’s gas stocks are low. And a few plants have gone off-line for repairs at a bad moment.