The government should encourage and facilitate increased storage of gas.

We have a very low amount of storage compared to other countries. Something like 5%, compared to about 18% in other countries. Our gas storage has not significantly increased since the heady days when most of our gas was domestic, and did not have to be imported France and Germany have something like 100 days storage: we have nowhere near that. Ours is about 15 days.

One of the reasons for adding to gas storage is that it would help even out the extreme fluctuations in prices. And in this spirit, more gas could be bought in the summer, when it tends to be cheaper. We need to be protected against outages, caused either by technical or political problems. This could include blackmail from foreign countries, or pipeline disruptions. A near shortage could be exacerbated by such issues a wind turbines not turning, which happens when the weather is coldest. And our sources of gas are not very diverse: for instance a huge percentage of our gas comes from Qatar.

Gas will become an increasingly important part of our energy mix. We should be ready for a massive increase in the global use of gas, and ultimately a global gas price for gas (as there already is for oil.) Gas is the medium-term huge change and excitement in energy, and we should have more infrastructure to prepare for being part of the global market. Fracking within the UK will for a long time be insufficient.

Obviously gas is now crucial for keeping people warm in winter. We can’t risk running out.

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