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19 Oct 13:19
Energy Crisis NewsThe UK energy crisis emerged in 2021, as wholesale gas prices soared, threatening millions of consumers with sharply rising and possibly unaffordable bills, as well as sending energy companies bust.
The crisis is reportedly the result of several combining factors. When economies reopened after Covid lockdowns there was an uptick in global gas demand, leaving northern hemisphere countries short on gas supplies after a long, cold winter. At the same time rising demand in Asia resulted in fewer shipments to Europe from countries such as Qatar, while several gas platforms in the North Sea have been closed for maintenance that was paused during the pandemic. As a result, UK gas prices by September 2021 had quadrupled in a year.
Following the shutdown of operations at two UK fertiliser plants as a result of the high gas prices, a shortage of carbon-dioxide - a by-product of fertiliser production - has caused other short term problems in UK farming, meat production, the food and drinks industry, large steelmakers, and other industries.
Electricity supplies were hit by a drop in wind power compared to 2020, as the UK experienced one of its least windy summers since 1961. And in September 2021, imports of electricity from France were cut by a fire to a key cross-Channel cable.
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