A letter from Ofgem, the UK's power regulator, warned about the "significant risk" of a natural gas shortage this winter because of disruptions to energy markets following the war in Ukraine and undersupply of Europe.
Bloomberg Opinion's Javier Blas tweeted a photograph of the letter focusing on technical changes in the UK electricity market. Blas highlighted the critical parts of the letter in the "background" section that detailed a dark and cold winter for the UK could be just ahead.
Here's what Blas outlined:
"Due to the war in Ukraine and gas shortages in Europe, there is a significant risk that gas shortages could occur during the winter 2022/23 in Great Britain ('GB'). As a result, there is a possibility that GB could enter into a Gas Supply Emergency."
... "In the event that GB reaches Stage 2 in this procedure, Firm Load Shedding of gas would be applied to the largest gas users connected to the gas system. This will likely be large gas-fired power stations which produce electricity to the National Electricity Transmission System ('NETS')."
Blas warned: "Winter is coming awfully quickly, and we are betting the house on a warmer-than-average season."
Blas is correct. The average UK temperatures are around 12 Celsius (53.6 Fahrenheit). The peak in mean temps occurred in early August.
Heating degree days, a measurement designed to quantify the demand for energy needed to heat a building structure, is already rising across the country, indicating the heating season has begun.
Blas concluded: "Maybe, maybe, maybe... it's time for the UK government to seriously get a grip with the energy crisis, and start a public campaign for energy savings, before it is too late."