Did coal just rescue the UK gas market?

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Report summary

The resilience of the UK gas market was tested to its limits as temperatures plunged between 26 February and 3 March 2018. Gas demand for space heating surged, attracting flexible gas supply from storage, LNG and interconnectors. The UK gas market has adequate capacity to meet such a spike but a coalescence of supply issues coincided with the cold snap. Coal capacity was fully dispatched as the gas market struggled to balance. The UK government is pushing ahead to phase out coal generation by 2025. But with indigenous gas production in decline, the UK must act now to improve the resilience of its gas market in the absence of coal as a backstop.

What's included

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  • Document

    Did coal just rescue the UK gas market?

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Table of contents

  • Flexible gas supply responds
  • After a long absence, coal plays a key supporting role
  • But coal capacity in the UK remains under threat
  • UK gas production decline increases the reliance on flexible gas supply
  • A Rough deal for storage
  • How likely is a repeat event for the UK gas market?
  • The UK must act now to improve resilience for the future

Tables and charts

This report includes 3 images and tables including:


  • Gas supply to UK (25 Feb-5 Mar)
  • Flexible gas supply vs NBP day-ahead
  • UK LNG storage inventory vs capacity (winter 2017/18)

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