Ever wondered why Gas was so pricey?

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#1

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Of course the other reason the UK gas supplies are more expensive is chronic lack of investment.

More UK Gas Storage Needed To Ensure Integrity Of Supply - Engineer Live, For Engineers, By Engineers

At the heart of the problem in the UK is the fact that our main reserves and supply of natural gas from the North Sea are declining, making the country more dependent on imports. By 2015, it is likely up to 80 per cent of the UK's gas supplies will be imported, compared with about 40 per cent now.

Currently Britain has just 15 days of gas storage against 99 days in France and 122 days in Germany, leaving it far more exposed to disruptions.
Now apart from the fact that the UK is horribly vulnerable to Putin throwing a tantrum and cutting off gas supplies, it also means that we pay more for gas. France and Germany fill up their gas storage in the summer when gas tends to be cheaper due to lower demand. Our muppets in government, aided and abetted by the energy companies, have ensured that a lot of our gas supplies are brought 'spot' in the winter when they're more expensive.

Wonderful...

Wordsmith
 
#6
The banks have been vilified, but still charge up to £50 every time you go overdrawn.

My point? This won't make the slightest bit of difference - the immediate outrage will fade and we'll continue to pay through the nose.
 
#7
Of course the other reason the UK gas supplies are more expensive is chronic lack of investment.

More UK Gas Storage Needed To Ensure Integrity Of Supply - Engineer Live, For Engineers, By Engineers



Now apart from the fact that the UK is horribly vulnerable to Putin throwing a tantrum and cutting off gas supplies, it also means that we pay more for gas. France and Germany fill up their gas storage in the summer when gas tends to be cheaper due to lower demand. Our muppets in government, aided and abetted by the energy companies, have ensured that a lot of our gas supplies are brought 'spot' in the winter when they're more expensive.

Wonderful...

Wordsmith
Well much of the above is true, but we pay less per kWh than most other countries in Europe.

You wonder why Scandinavian homes are so well insulated? Obviously, because it's cold there - but it's probably at ;east as much to do with the fact that the bills would be absolutely crippling otherwise.

In France I'm pretty sure energy supply is still a state monopoly. This could be a good or a bad thing (thinking rail pre/post nationalisation, the disaster that is Thames Water), although capitalist received wisdom would be that this does not lead to low prices.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#8
Of course the other reason the UK gas supplies are more expensive is chronic lack of investment.

More UK Gas Storage Needed To Ensure Integrity Of Supply - Engineer Live, For Engineers, By Engineers



Now apart from the fact that the UK is horribly vulnerable to Putin throwing a tantrum and cutting off gas supplies, it also means that we pay more for gas. France and Germany fill up their gas storage in the summer when gas tends to be cheaper due to lower demand. Our muppets in government, aided and abetted by the energy companies, have ensured that a lot of our gas supplies are brought 'spot' in the winter when they're more expensive.

Wonderful...

Wordsmith
And we're sat on loads and loads of good quality coal.


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Grumblegrunt

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Ah but why invest in gas storage if it means you cant jack the prices up at 6 times inflation every year.

which ever idiot a - privatised british gas and b - allowed them to burn gas instead of coal to make electricity needs hamstringing. for domestic and industrial use we had a good 50 years of gas under the north sea before they built the gas power stations. we had no need for storage.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
The answer to (a) was the Tory Govt in c1986 (the infamous "If you see Sid, tell him" campaign), and (b) The "Dash for Gas" started under the Tories in the early to mid 90's.
 
#13
There is of course one tinsy winsy flaw in your "lets burn more coal" plan. The fact that under current EU emission targets, burning coal would leave us with a massive cost in terms of carbon capture and flue gas desulpherisation, making it far more expensive than simply lobbing it on a big fire and giving it a kick start. The reason we are so reliant on Gas is because many of our coal fired power stations are just too expensive to run, and would never meet emission quotas. So, whilst the fuel may be cheaper, the conversion of it to energy is incredibly expensive


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jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#14
I moved from E.on to Scottish power last month when they gave a fixed price deal until Feb 2014, E.On had promised they'd not increase prices this year, it's true they did it last year, so they'd more money of us for longer. I signed up with E-On lat September, so between September and December they'd increased the prices so potentially they'd had 15 months of an increase and just starting at the beginning of Autumn. My 'gas-guzzling' boiler didn't guzzle gas 20 years ago it was very cheap to run, funny Johnny Ball keeps telling me on the radio i'd save a fortune by spending a few grand on a new one.
M.P's have been shaking their fists and tutting at energy companies for a couple of years now, they must be terrified.
 
#15
I've figured out a short and long term energy plan for the country. We build coal fired plants and when the EU try to have a go over emissions we tell them to **** off, when the greens cry to the newspapers about polution we tell them to **** off.

These will cover us nicely until we build scores of new nuclear plants, when the greens cry again, we tell them to **** off.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#16
I've figured out a short and long term energy plan for the country. We build coal fired plants and when the EU try to have a go over emissions we tell them to **** off, when the greens cry to the newspapers about polution we tell them to **** off.

These will cover us nicely until we build scores of new nuclear plants, when the greens cry again, we tell them to **** off.
I think we may have to get out of the EU first or they'd take our trousers down spank us and fine us and we'd just cough up.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
There is of course one tinsy winsy flaw in your "lets burn more coal" plan... the fuel may be cheaper, the conversion of it to energy is incredibly expensive.
There have been warnings for 5 - 10 years the UK is heading for an energy crunch. Coal fired and older nuclear power stations have been taken off stream with nothing much built to replace them. Add into the equation the fact that oil and 'traditional' natural gas has probably passed peak production and the UK is heading into the sh*t.

There is a short term resource that could be brought on line relatively quickly - natural gas made by fracking. We are faffing about and not making much progress on that. The long term resource we need - new nuclear power - also seems mired down in indecision.

Not an inspiring picture.

Wordsmith
 
#18
More like 20 years. Politicians of all shades have really dropped the ball on this. We are at the stage that we should have been at 15 years ago. Irrespective of the arguements about climate change, CO2 caps, etc the whole infrastructure needs review and investment. Even coal plants can't run for ever without overhaul or replacement.

British coal suffers from being high sulphur content, this is why Polish coal killed off the UK mining industry. Maggie just enforced the decision to move away from UK coal, it wasn't economical then. Things have changed since then with gas-from-coal technology, but unfortunately most of our old mines are now fucked through flooding and would cost a small fortune to recover. One point to hang anti-nuc greenies with is that coal powered power stations emit more radioactive material than any nukes (including Windscale post fire...), or that radon emissions in the UK dwarf those from the Chernobyl disaster.
 
#19
One point to hang anti-nuc greenies with is that coal powered power stations emit more radioactive material than any nukes (including Windscale post fire...), or that radon emissions in the UK dwarf those from the Chernobyl disaster.
Reason, scientific evidence, forward thinking or plain common sense are of no interest to either politicians or greenies....
 
#20
There have been warnings for 5 - 10 years the UK is heading for an energy crunch. Coal fired and older nuclear power stations have been taken off stream with nothing much built to replace them. Add into the equation the fact that oil and 'traditional' natural gas has probably passed peak production and the UK is heading into the sh*t.

There is a short term resource that could be brought on line relatively quickly - natural gas made by fracking. We are faffing about and not making much progress on that. The long term resource we need - new nuclear power - also seems mired down in indecision.

Not an inspiring picture.

Wordsmith
I thought the Japs were building us some new nuclear sites?
 

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