UK government group to study gas and electricity supply issues

UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson has created a working group to monitor risks to Britain's future gas and electricity supplies. The Energy Security of Supply Working Group will meet for the first time in September and will issue semiannual reports to Department of Trade and Industry and Ofgem.

Jul 27th, 2001


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, July 27 -- UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson has created a working group to monitor risks to Britain's future gas and electricity supplies.

Wilson and Callum McCarthy, chief executive of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, said the Energy Security of Supply Working Group will meet for the first time in September.

The Department of Trade and Industry and Ofgem will jointly chair the working group.

Wilson said, "The government wants to do more to plan for the future. This new group will be looking at least 7 years ahead and provide expert advice on assessing the risks to our energy supply and on the adequacy of the UK's gas and electricity infrastructure.

"We are currently self sufficient in energy at competitive prices and have diverse sources of supply. However, we must not be complacent. In the future we expect to become increasingly dependent on imports of fuel and particularly gas."

McCarthy said, "Strong and efficiently working markets are key to ensuring a long term and secure energy supply for Britain." He added that the working group will allow the government to understand supply developments so it can respond quickly.

The energy ministry said the working group would assess the available data relevant to security of supply, to identify the gaps in that data and develop appropriate indicators.

It will forecast, at least 7 years ahead, the availability of gas supplies, electricity supplies and fuels used for electricity generation; the adequacy of generating capacity; and the adequacy of the UK's gas and electricity infrastructure.

The group also will determine whether market-based mechanisms are prompting the necessary investments to correct anticipated weaknesses in the supply chain. The working group will issue semiannual reports.

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