The lights have already started to go off all over Europe, and there is every reason to expect this to happen in the UK as well experts now say.
Last month, London came extremely close to a blackout. As the temperature peaked so did energy demands bringing the capital dangerously close to its first blackout in years and showing just how fragile the network now is.
The blackout was only avoided by paying a record-breaking £9,724.54 per megawatt hour to Belgium who then sent us its energy via interconnectors averting the danger (just). This was 5,000% higher than the typical price paid. Although Europe saved us this time, after holding us to ransom, the continent has its own energy crisis and may not be able to provide power at any price in the future.
Britain’s reliance on interconnectors — that is, high-voltage cables that connect our energy grid to those of other countries — is a direct result of the move away from fossil fuels. Whilst the government have made all sorts of false claims about renewables, the truth is that they cannot provide enough power for Britain's energy needs. Not even close.
Whilst the government claim that renewables are working, the reality is that they are an unmitigated failure, costly, not environmentally friendly, and will never be able to meet Britain's growing energy demands.
Britain’s overall energy mix has changed a great deal since we last faced an energy crisis in the 1970s. As the chart below shows, coal has gone from well over 50% of British energy production to almost zero. Natural gas has stepped in to fill the gap.
Some of this gas comes from Britain’s North Sea gas fields. But not all of it. In 2019, almost half of this gas was imported. Add to this the fact that around 35% of the oil we use is imported and it starts to show how dependent the country is on energy imports.
The oil mainly comes from Norway and the United States while the gas comes mainly from Norway and Qatar. Clearly the weak link here if there were a European energy crisis would be Norway which, unlike Britain, is in the European Economic Area. Since the invasion, Britain has scrambled to secure Norwegian gas and has managed to cut deals with Norwegian suppliers, hoping to guarantee Britain energy security this winter.
But there are still two ways that Britain could experience a general energy crisis — as opposed to just an electricity crisis driven by reliance on interconnectors. One is that the situation in Europe becomes so bad that the EU declares a state of emergency and demands that gas supplies are rationed on a country-by-country basis. The other is simply that energy prices rise so high that the British people are forced into de facto rationing. Either scenario is a recipe for very high inflation and economic chaos, and both scenarios are now extremely likely.
Putin has now turned off the taps to all but a trickle, starving Europe of around 40% of its Gas supplies. It was always going to happen, the loonacy of Europe's reliance on Russia to keep its lights on was biblically stupid, and Britain's reliance on Europe even moreso. Britain could be self sufficient in energy due to the billions of tonnes of coal, gas and oil right under our feet, but due to the climate change con, are now likely to have years of blackouts and power rationing, starting this winter. Have the candles and torchlights handy.