Last year Centrica reopened Rough, their gas storage facility where they have managed to almost double the storage of the site. This has boosted the UK’s storage capacity, offering further security to UK energy.
The UK has a very low storage capacity compared to other countries around the EU. The more that the UK’s storage capacity is increased the more energy security we will have.
Since the Rough storage facility began storing gas again in 2022 it has increased the storage capacity of the UK by 50%, strengthening the country's ability to deal with a rising demand. This could be helpful during the winter when the cold snaps pushes up gas demand.
Although Rough has played a role in increasing capacity, it will not fix all of the UK’s energy security issues. The UK can now store up to 12 days of gas however this is not a lot compared to EU countries. For example, France and the Netherlands have over 100 days of gas storage to help throughout winter. This means we still have a long way to go in terms of increasing capacity and energy security in the UK.
Why is energy security so important?
Energy security is important because it ensures that the UK has reliable access to energy sources and is not dependent on a single source of power. This reduces the risk of disruption in energy supply and provides stability and certainty when planning for future energy needs. Additionally, increased energy storage capacity will help reduce the risk of blackouts and other disruptions during peak times or in the event of an emergency.
To improve energy security further, we need to invest in more storage facilities and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Increasing renewables' capacity will improve our country’s energy security and reduce carbon emissions, helping us reach our net-zero goals.
Will this affect energy prices?
The UK's increased energy security can lead to cheaper prices for both businesses and households. With more energy storage capacity, the UK is better able to manage the fluctuating supply and demand of energy. As a result, suppliers are able to access more resources when needed, reducing the need to purchase fuel from other sources. This helps keep costs down, allowing consumers to pay lower energy bills.
In conclusion, improving the UK’s energy storage capacity is essential for increasing our energy security and helping us reduce carbon emissions. With more storage capacity available, we will be able to access more reliable sources of power and reduce costs at the same time.
However, it will take time for the improved storage capacity to translate into more energy security and lower prices in the UK. This is because there are a number of factors that must be taken into account when considering energy security, such as infrastructure, regulations, and market conditions. For example, an increase in storage capacity will only benefit us if the infrastructure is in place to use it.
Nevertheless, increasing our energy storage capacity is a step in the right direction for improving our energy security and reducing carbon emissions. With more storage capacity available, we can ensure that we have reliable access to energy sources and keep costs down.