Gas supplies to factories and power stations are being cut off as Britain begins to run short of fuel during the current cold weather. The National Grid has withdrawn supplies to 94 very large companies across England, 55 in the East Midlands, and 39 in the North-West.
It is the first time since 1999 that gas supplies have been cut in this way.
These companies are all on interruptible contracts. In return for discounted gas they accept that their supplies can be temporarily cut off during periods of high demand.
Maintaining domestic supplies is a top priority, but this highlights the precarious situation we have with our electricity generating system. Much of it (about a third) is based on gas, and only some gas-fired power stations are able to switch to liquid fuel.
Meanwhile we still have no firm information on when our new nuclear power stations will be built, or where, or by whom.
ND, habitat21, 8 Jan 10
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