The light is dawning that we need gas for the long-term

13th Feb 2017


It’s been an interesting week for the industry, both in the news and on the quiet. The drip-drip of price announcements has started, their impact once again igniting the interest of politicians and the regulator.

With electricity prices rising three times faster than gas, it only fuels the narrative we have been constructing recently over fuel poverty and longevity of the gas networks delivering affordable and secure supplies to the vast majority of UK homes.

I was in Westminster on Tuesday evening to hear from the GMB trade union about their energy policy stance. Routed in the real-world, crafted from the experiences of tens of thousands of workers in the industry, they spoke sense. Recognising the need for nuclear base-load, renewables and gas for power generation, and gas to continue heating people’s homes. I know it is alien to London lobbyists, based in their ivory towers who discuss energy policies over liquid lunches, but it pays to listen to sensible trade unions like the GMB – and that’s the observation from the Chair of the Energy Studies Group, Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger.

Also this week, our work with Carbon Connect continued. Harnessing the experiences of the gas networks, academics and end users there is a clear pathway being established that shows the way to decarbonise heating at least cost to the consumer. Gas is not the only solution, but it does provide the bulk of the answers. Increasingly this is a view that is gaining momentum amongst policy-makers, a million-miles away from the previous Government’s “all-electric” scenario. At a meeting of stakeholders early last week, it was refreshing to see industry responding to this and breathing new-life into their gas-related activities.

Best wishes

Mike Foster, CE