UK weather drives gas into power sector
Britain was relying on gas for 44% of its power generation needs as wind dropped below 3% of the mix, as of midday June 7, according to data from Gridwatch. Gas was supplying 33.46 GW. Nuclear had the second biggest share, at 17.6%, beating solar at 14.7%. However electricity imports include nuclear generation too: and the French interconnector was supplying 9% of the total.
If the percentages remain unchanged over the day on average, a third of the daily total British gas demand will be used to generate electricity, accounting for 64mn m³ and it will be the largest source of gas demand too. Residential and small commercial sites are taking the daily equivalent of 56mn m³, National Grid data showed midday June 7.
As is usual, the biggest single source of gas was Norway at 60mn m³/d. LNG came in at 48mn m³/d and UK continental shelf production was 55mn m³/d. Interconnectors were also exporting gas to the continent at the rate of 17mn m³/d.
The third largest demand for gas in Britain was for storage injections, where the volume in store throughout the European Union (including Britain) is now about where it was this time in 2018, another anomalous year. Strong injection demand following extended low temperatures has kept prompt prices up for the summer – in stark contrast to last year when demand was so low and supplies so high that summer spot prices touched long-term lows.
Since the closure of Rough, a depleted gas field converted into a storage facility, Britain meets a uniquely low proportion of its peak gas demand from storage of around 2%, relying instead on imports of LNG and pipeline gas. It has other market mechanisms that reward demand-side response. Major industrial users can turn furnaces off at peak times for a pre-agreed payment.