In 2017 the UK’s biggest gas storage facility, Rough, closed after the Government refused to subsidise costly repairs

Britain has been hit harder than its European neighbours by the energy price crisis, in part because it has very little gas storage capacity.

Gas stores can act as a buffer against rising energy prices by enabling countries to buy in bulk during summer months before winter demand kicks in.

Germany and the Netherlands are among the EU countries to store enough gas to help them meet months of winter demand. By comparison, the UK can only hold enough gas to meet a few days of demand.

That is in large part because of a decision taken in 2017 to close Centrica’s Rough storage facility, in the North Sea, which provided 70 per cent of the UK’s gas storage capacity for more than 30 years. It was shuttered after the Government refused to subsidise costly repairs.

At the time, cheap gas prices and plentiful supply meant there was little incentive for other firms to step in and fill the gap, especially as Britain is planning to wind down gas use as part of its net-zero strategy.

Instead, the UK has since relied mainly on a mix of domestic gas sourced from the North Sea, pipeline imports from Europe, and liquified natural gas (LNG) shipments from the likes of Qatar.

It is a diverse set-up that means the country will almost always be able to source enough gas for its needs – but during uncertain times it will have to pay a high price.

Read more: inews

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