Why natural gas prices are breaking records in Europe?
Manufacturing industry leaders are demanding that measures to tackle rising energy costs are implemented “right now”.
They also said that factories, that rely on a huge amount of natural gas to keep running, are just “days away” from having to halt production because of the supply shortage and record-level prices of the gas.
Electricity prices have also shot through the roof as power stations use gas to generate electricity.
Dr Richard Leese, the chairman of the Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG), told BBC Breakfast: “What we’ve done is lay out to government a winter package of measures that we think is needed to prevent those interruptions in supply chains occurring again.
“It’s needed absolutely right now – gas prices are at an unprecedented level and the businesses that manufacture the goods that we need are trying to operate under these unprecedented conditions.”
The industry’s “package of measures” include reviewing the “carbon costs placed on energy intensive users”, reviewing network costs within the UK, and emergency relief to “prevent lasting damage to very expensive plants and equipment” if any factories have to shut.
David Dalton of the British Glass Manufacturers Association said some companies were “days” from having to close temporarily.
They had talks on Friday with business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng but the meetings ended with no immediate solutions.
Manufacturing sectors ‘interlinked,’ group says amid gas cost rise
Different areas of manufacturing are “intrinsically linked” and the failure of one will affect the entire industry, EIUG chairman Dr Richard Leese said.
He told BBC Breakfast: “We’ve already seen the tip of the iceberg with fertiliser consequences – energy intensive industries manufacture goods throughout all supply chains, everything from minerals to paper goods.
“All of that is intrinsically linked, for example, when the fertiliser factory closed or paused, the CO2 is not just needed for food – we use it in the cement industry to supress explosion risk.
“Those goods are used throughout the supply chain, it’s all interlinked, so if one industry sector is affected, we’re all affected.”
Lamiat Sabin9 October 2021 15:44
Government considering ‘green’ levies on gas – The Times
The government is reportedly planning to introduce new “green” charges on gas that could add £170 a year to gas bills.
A new strategy commits the government to cutting the price of electricity and imposing a levy on gas bills, The Times has reported.
The strategy will be published before the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow next month.
Lamiat Sabin9 October 2021 15:30
‘No decisions made’ yet by government amid gas crisis – statement
A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The UK’s exposure to volatile global gas prices underscores the need to move away from fossil fuels to protect consumers in the long term.
“We want to encourage people to take up more efficient technologies such as heat pumps and electric vehicles by removing levies on electricity over time, working with industry to drive down costs of technologies and ensure they are as affordable as current options.
“We’ll set out our upcoming heat and buildings strategy shortly. No decisions have been taken on our approach.”
Lamiat Sabin9 October 2021 14:45
UK-India clean energy plan agreed amid national energy crises
The UK and India had agreed on Friday plans to transform their power sectors to generate clean energy.
The meeting took place as both nations – among many countries – are reporting severe issues relating to energy supply and costs.
The UK has seen sky-high energy prices as a result of lower supply of natural gas, and parts of India has been plunged into darkness due to a lack of coal to fuel power plants.
The virtual meeting was held between British business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Indian union minister for power and new and renewable energy RK Singh.
The ministers spoke on the ongoing energy transition activities in their countries such as renewables, including solar, offshore wind, storage, electric vehicles (EVs) and alternative fuels, a press release from India’s Ministry of Power says.
The agreed on an action plan on power and clean transport, renewables, green finance and clean energy research as part of Roadmap 2030, which was launched by both countries’ PMs during India-UK Virtual Summit in May.
Lamiat Sabin9 October 2021 14:10
Countries using energy supplies as a weapon, defence secretary claims
Energy supplies are increasingly being used as a “weapon” by foreign powers to put pressure on other countries, the defence secretary has said.
Ben Wallace’s warning about “unconventional” weapons came as No 10 raised fears that a new gas pipe line being built by Russia could have security implications for the UK.
And closer to home, the French government’s Europe minister Clement Beaune threatened this week to use energy supplies as a way to “put pressure” on Britain to comply with the Brexit agreement, amid tensions over fishing licences.
Our policy correspondent Jon Stone reports:
Andy Gregory9 October 2021 13:29
Lebanon runs out of electricity
More international news for a moment, as Lebanon is plunged into darkness by a power outage expected to last for several days.
The country’s two largest power stations have been forced to shut down due to a fuel shortage, a government official told Reuters on Saturday.
Refresh our breaking story for updates:
Andy Gregory9 October 2021 12:54
India plunged into power blackout as PM warned of ‘severe’ crisis
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was warned today that capital city Delhi could face a “severe” power crisis as it has endured a coal shortage for the “third month in a row”.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to the PM to surge his government to take action to make sure enough coal and gas is delivered to power plants supplying electricity to the city.
He tweeted: “Delhi could face a power crisis. I am personally keeping a close watch over the situation. We are trying our best to avoid it. In the meanwhile, I wrote a letter to Hon’ble PM seeking his personal intervention.”
Today, millions of people in two northern Indian states – Rajasthan and Punjab – have been plunged into blackouts of up to four hours each after a number of power plants were shut due to the lack of coal.
Lamiat Sabin9 October 2021 12:30
‘Real energy price crisis is in the Balkans’ – Bloomberg reporter
The energy crunch is biting harder in eastern Europe than in the West, a Bloomberg News journalist has said.
Chief energy correspondent Javier Blas said Kosovo’s largest exporter – the Ferronikeli nickel factory – has shutdown all production.
It comes as leaders in the British manufacturing industry warned today that some factories are just days away from shutting down due to record gas prices.
Albania’s government has declared a state of emergency and is today expected to announce energy emergency measures.
It comes after Serbia’s government warned earlier this week that it could choose to ban electricity exports during the winter to lower domestic power prices.
Lamiat Sabin9 October 2021 12:13
Manufacturers’ proposals on how to keep factories running
Industry leaders have put forward three proposals to the government on Friday to avoid interruption to supply chains this winter.
They spoke with business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, and warned him that electricity costs five times their normal levels were “not sustainable” for factories.
Dr Richard Leese, the chairman of the Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG), told BBC Breakfast: “Winter cost containment measures looking at the carbon costs particularly that are placed on energy intensive users.
“There is partial relief to some energy intensive but it’s not widespread – we’re subject to qualification rules that are legacy rules from European Union membership.
“Our second measure is to look at network costs within the UK. Network costs are distributed differently to other European countries in terms of energy intensive industries getting a higher proportion of the network costs, and that’s something within Ofgem’s gift.
“The third measure is to look at emergency measures, should any of our energy intensive plants need to shut down rapidly, looking at the threshold for emergency relief to try and prevent lasting damage to very expensive plants and equipment.”
Lamiat Sabin9 October 2021 11:39
Factories ‘days away’ from shutdown due to sky-high gas prices
Some manufacturing industry heads have warned that some factories are just days from temporarily shutting down due to the gas price crisis.
David Dalton of the British Glass Manufacturers Association said some companies were “days away” from halting production.
Gareth Stace, director general of UK Steel, told ITV News that, unless the government takes action, the steel sector will see “more and more pauses of production in certain times of the day and those pauses will become longer.”
Andrew Large, director general of the Confederation of Paper Industries, told ITV News that he could not rule out factories having to suspend production due to increased energy costs.
The industry heads held talks on Friday with business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng but said the meetings ended with no immediate solutions.
Lamiat Sabin9 October 2021 10:51