Blackouts fears as energy regulator warns of ‘significant risk’ of gas shortage | The Sun

HOUSEHOLDS could face the risk of blackouts this winter as the energy regulator has warned of a "significant risk" of gas shortages.

Ofgem said a "gas supply emergency" could lead to some power plants – which rely on gas to run – being cut off.

This could see them stop generating electricity, and as these plants provide the lion's share of electricity supply for the nation, fears have been sparked of future blackouts.

In Ofgem documents, the regulator said gas shortage issues have been driven in part by the war in Ukraine and gas shortages in Europe.

Russia has cut off most gas pipeline shipments, squeezing supply in Europe.

Some companies which run gas power stations have raised concerns to Ofgem about the impact a gas supply emergency could have on business.

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Power stations face big fines if they fail to supply electricity to businesses.

But Ofgem this rule could see the "potential insolvency of gas-fired generators", according to a report by Ofgem.

Gas plant owner SSE has called for the rules to change.

It said it could the average gas-fired power plant could rack up charges of up to £475million for the biggest plants per day.

The company, along with RWE – another gas station owner – are limiting advance sales of electricity, which is in turn pushing prices up.

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An SSE spokesperson said: "There is broad industry agreement on the need to examine this issue, with the decision ultimately one for Ofgem.”

RWE, Ofgem and National Grid were contacted for comment.

It's not the first time households have been warned of blackouts this year.

Four days of blackouts are included in an emergency plan inked by the government on what could happen during the energy crisis this winter.

The Government insists it has sufficient reserves to avoid blackouts and just wargames for wild possibilities that will likely never happen.

Under the latest "reasonable worst case scenario" Britain would be struck by a serious electricity shortfall even after back-up coal plants are activated.

It means millions of households could be asked to turn down their thermostats and switch off their lights this winter in a bid to avoid blackouts.

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Supplies of gas to Europe and Britain have been reduced this year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has already reduced supply to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a major gas supply line.

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