UK Peak Demands for Natural Gas


By Paul Homewood

h/t Joe Public

Natural gas accounts for 43% of the UK’s primary energy consumption. In comparison, renewable energy only supplies 4%.

Our reliance on  gas though is much greater in winter months:

And if you look at hour-by-hour data, the peaks are greater still, as the National Grid chart below shows:

This graph is for yesterday, Dec 10th. Demand for gas ramps up from around 310 mcm at night to 430 mcm in the early evening. One mcm = approximately 11 GWh.

So a rate of 430 mcm/day equates to 4730 GWh, or 197 GWh per hour.

While supply remains relatively constant, these peaks in demand are met by reducing what is known as the linepack – effectively the amount of gas within the gas distribution network. This, of course, is something that the electricity grid cannot do.

In comparison with the daily peaks and troughs of gas, electricity storage is miniscule. Pumped storage capacity is 2.8 GW, with the biggest, Dinorwig, rated at 1.7 GW with storage of 9.1 GWh. Battery storage is much tinier still.

Based on the decline in linepack, we would need about 70 mcm each day to top up at peak demand – that is 770 GWh.

In any event, all of the electricity storage we have will all be needed just to balance peaks in electricity demand.

Yet our policymakers continue down the road of electrification, seemingly oblivious to the realities.

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December 12, 2022 6:13 am

Current state of UK electricity (1/2 hr update )

At 14:00 it’s costing £1650.00/MWh
Winter is just starting … Jan/Feb are our cold mths

Reply to  1saveenergy
December 12, 2022 8:50 am

And wind & solar cannot manage 5% between them – all those wind mills and solar farms, doing nothing, because there’s no wind or sun – not eve n a full blown idiot would plan a Grid this way – politicians are uneducated clowns

Reply to  Energywise
December 12, 2022 10:22 am

And they even sabotage their idiot plans by blocking any natural gas development and use, which would backup so-called renewable sources and hide the fact they are useless.

The Real Engineer
Reply to  Energywise
December 13, 2022 3:36 am

Worse than that, they are also deaf to the Engineers who have been telling them this for 30 years! No nuclear was their plan, from the nuclear World leader at the time, they are all total idiots. But all they want are the Green votes, from even more stupid idiots!

Reply to  1saveenergy
December 12, 2022 9:24 am

Well, our old Tracktorman used to say “If it bears a duck before Chrismas it won’t bear a man after it”, i.e. if it is really frosty now it will be milder than usual in Jan. and Feb..
Still going to be cold, though.

Last edited 3 months ago by Oldseadog
Reply to  1saveenergy
December 12, 2022 12:53 pm

Alberta’s wind “fleet” is currently providing 18 MW out of installed capacity of 3618 MW for a robust 0.5% of installed capacity. Solar is providing 284 MW out of 1138 MW for an incredible 25% of installed capacity. Current price is $438/MWh. And still we have idiots that think we can run the province on this without business leaving and people dying. This includes many people that absolutely should know better.

Devils Tower
Reply to  1saveenergy
December 12, 2022 3:00 pm

From the streets of London

Reply to  Devils Tower
December 13, 2022 2:36 am

From Gloucestershire:

Allan MacRae
Reply to  CampsieFellow
December 13, 2022 8:56 am

Driving Advice from Winter in Calgary::
Don’t drive at all on the first snow days. It takes a few snow days before everyone who can’t drive in snow bangs up their cars and gets off the road.
The auto body shops get months of work from the first snow days.
Also, this allows time to get the roads sanded.
I can drive in first snow – but it’s the other drivers I want to avoid, because they can’t seem to avoid me.
Early winter driving is easy – cut your speed in half, increase separation between vehicles, avoid hills until roads are sanded, and go easy on steering and the gas and brake pedals.

Happy Motoring! An ad from better days.
Calgary Roundup. — ca. 1958-1960. — Imperial Oil Esso television commercial. – YouTube

Reply to  1saveenergy
December 13, 2022 3:14 am

Yesterday (Monday) fossil fuels were generating about 6 times more electricity than renewables. Total UK generation was 7 GB less than demand. The contribution from wind is pitifully small. We’ve only avoided blackouts because of imports of electricity, particularly France.

It’s interesting to note that, if we had double the number of wind farms and hundreds of billions worth of battery storage, it would have essentially made no difference at all.

And yet we have huge reserves of natural gas literally under our feet.
Yes, there is a climate crisis. But it’s not global warming, quite the reverse. As Britain and Europe endure brutal freezing temperatures, suddenly global warming doesn’t seem such a bad idea.
The real climate crisis has been caused by barking mad government policies.
Complete madness…

Reply to  cwright
December 13, 2022 4:49 am

if we had double the number of wind farms and hundreds of billions worth of battery storage, it would have essentially made no difference at all.”

This point still evades the green-minded. Ambrose Evan-Pritchard is the Daily Telegraph’s usual green fanboy, but others chip in:

December 12, 2022 6:28 am

As of right now nuclear has stepped back up to normal output, hydro is maxed out, as are biomass, and the Dutch, Norwegian, and Nemo interconnects. CCGT and the French interconnect are almost pegged too. They’ve even lit some coal powered stations. Meanwhile let’s see… Oh! Right. Solar is putting out 0.70GW (~1.5% of demand) and wind is managing an asthmatic 1.2GW (~2.6% of demand and about what we’re getting from coal right now).

Edit: fixed tiny typo

Last edited 3 months ago by quelgeek
Reply to  quelgeek
December 12, 2022 6:51 am

You mean it might be premature to worry about the last 10%?

Allan MacRae
Reply to  quelgeek
December 12, 2022 7:41 am

This energy shortage crisis was accurately predicted by my co-authors and me in 2002 and again predicted (to the year) in an Open Letter to the UK Undersecretary of Energy and Climate in 2013.
I also predicted a Big Cull of Europe’s elderly and poor to happen this winter, due to inadequate energy supply and extreme cold.

So the question is:
Are most/all European politicians this incredibly stupid?
Was this Cull deliberate?
Either way, if my prediction holds true, you should drag them into court, try them and convict them of criminal negligence or murder.

Last edited 3 months ago by Allan MacRae
Reply to  Allan MacRae
December 12, 2022 10:27 am

“Was this Cull deliberate?”

Starting to look that way – I know it sounds like a bad sci-fi/thriller but it really looks like the world is run by a gang of misanthropic death-cultists – legalization of abortion, euthanasia, recreational drugs and now disregard for even the basic necessities of life.

Open season on humans.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  PCman999
December 12, 2022 11:26 am

nothing wrong with a little weed once in a while 🙂

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Allan MacRae
December 12, 2022 11:24 am

“Are most/all European politicians this incredibly stupid?”

They’re all terrified of the Great Satan, CO2, also known as “carbon pollution”.

Reply to  quelgeek
December 12, 2022 11:31 am

Summer is approaching us here in New Zealand. Time to exit the UK, at least for a few months. You would be made welcome here!

December 12, 2022 6:40 am

No wonder they are seeking agreements far beyond the grand interconnects….

Just be sure and avoid all the pellet ships enroute.

UK tries to shore up energy supply with US deal | CNN Business

Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 12, 2022 11:36 am

I am inclined to deny exporting natural gas to any country that has recoverable gas within their borders but refuses to produce it. Eventually, the US will need it so why export it to today’s luddites?

December 12, 2022 6:49 am

10-day weather forecast for Europe is showing ALL of northern Europe to endure significantly cold weather.

It looks like about a two week shot of cold right across the major population centers.

December 12, 2022 6:51 am

I’ve given up.

The Parliamentary dictatorship cares not a jot.

Right-Handed Shark
December 12, 2022 7:10 am

Apparently Drax are preparing two generators to run on coal right now as the current weather looks to be set in for at least a week. Pretty sure that they’re not working the mine it sits on though, so probably importing at great expense from elsewhere.

December 12, 2022 7:57 am

Just read they’re firing up their remaining coal fired plants. Fossil fuels to the rescue. I hope!

December 12, 2022 8:08 am

It’s another proof that green policy makers are out of touch with reality – by pushing for total electrification (by impeding natural gas use and installations) they are actually making net-zero utopia even less likely than it now, which is basically zero anyway, and certainly zero before 2050-2060.

December 12, 2022 8:11 am

Stop the madness….CO2 is not a problem…we need more CO2.

Reply to  antigtiff
December 12, 2022 8:19 am

As long as I am alive, and maybe a little after, I will do my part.

Reply to  Scissor
December 12, 2022 11:34 am

Don’t bank on being able to!

Reply to  antigtiff
December 12, 2022 8:20 am

Fossil fuels are not a problem, they are part of the Carbon Cycle on which we all rely.

Peta of Newark
December 12, 2022 8:26 am

For the weather watchers amongst us all, here’s A Lovely Thing ## from the Met Office

## Amazing innit, the lovely thing.
Cherish it before they realise and take it down

December 12, 2022 8:56 am

UK Grid is always made up of 40-60% gas – the clowns running the country who want even more onshore wind don’t understand without effective storage, they will also need more gas & coal to support the additional intermittent renewables

Reply to  Energywise
December 12, 2022 11:12 am

The clowns running the country don’t understand there is no such thing as effective storage.

December 12, 2022 9:27 am

From the Guardian….

English hospitals have increased emergency fuel supplies and put staff on standby to postpone operations and switch off X-ray scanners amid heightened concerns over energy provision this winter.

NHS hospital trusts across England have put their power plans under the microscope as they look to protect patients from potential outages for lifesaving equipment.

Responses to freedom of information requests to 63 NHS trusts revealed that 41 are re-examining their plans for a loss of power for this winter. A further 10 trusts said they conducted routine reviews of their business continuity plans this year, while 12 had not revised their strategies.

Why can British politicians not see what is right in front of them and visible to everyone?

Here they are, with predicted demand north of 40GW, about 40GW of wind and solar installed, and they are getting from that wind and solar something between 1 and 3GW, while burning gas as fast as they can get it, and desperately buying on the spot market over interconnects to the EU.

And both political parties, well all of them, because its Liberals, SNP, Conservatives and Labour, all of them are intent on pretending that wind and solar are the solution, and that its possible and desirable to try and replace all that gas, about 25GW of it, with them.

And meanwhile, hospitals are buying in diesel, getting ready to draw on their standby generators, praying that there are no national blackouts, and cancelling operations.

Reply to  michel
December 13, 2022 5:02 am

There’s an awful lot of moronic thinking by most politicians, and by many other commentators. I posted this link above but will do so again here, as it is a painful example of what many people believe:

December 12, 2022 10:05 am

Natural gas is natural, abundant, easy to acquire, store and transport, is clean burning and uses simple, proven technology to do all of this. Whats not to like?

abolition man
December 12, 2022 10:21 am

Welcome to the world of Fifth Generation Warfare (5GW!)
YOU, the huddled masses yearning to breath free, are the targeted enemy of the Western ruling elites! The goal is totalitarian rule over a neo-feudalistic state with no freedom or ownership for the masses, and business as usual for our rulers. There are numerous battlegrounds in this war, with the Climageddon Hoax being one of the largest ones.
The amalgamation of organized crime and the Western governments is nearly complete, now that they have seized control of the “democratic” processes in most nations! The “forever wars” that were predicted by Orwell are now being prosecuted in places like Afghanistan and the Ukraine, with panicked populous being stampede to pick a side! As the computer in the movie “War Games” said, the only way to win the game is not to play!
The only way to defeat the perpetrators of 5GW is to get educated and stay above the fray! When you give in to the emotions stirred by their propaganda they win; when you point the spotlight of facts and rationality at their lies, everyone wins!

December 12, 2022 11:27 am

Although we all know of this tendency, the bare facts are surely worrying. Even for those of us who left the cold UK for warmer climes. Shouldn’t this be headline lews in EVERY newspaper in the UK? Or would that be too damaging for the political alarmists?

Reply to  mikelowe2013
December 13, 2022 5:04 am

Newspapers are almost all adherents of the green lunacy. See this link as an example:

Patrick Hrushowy
December 12, 2022 2:20 pm

Has it not occurred to anyone that the war on carbon is accomplishing what decades of communists attempts to take over British Governments could not? While we are busy trying to win the battle over whether there is a climate crisis, deeply embedded in the system of government are armies of agents directing useful idiots towards total control of the mechanisms of government. Can’t any of you remember the days at the height of the cold war, communist operatives were being uncovered deeply embedded in the UK government?

December 12, 2022 3:54 pm

You guys are really missing it. The Greens will answer thusly:
We have an energy crisis because fossil fuels cannot supply the grid adequately. The tiny amt of wind and solar on the grid proves that is it not the failure or wind and solar, which are NOT expected to function well in severe winter weather, but the fault of fossil fuel. We need to put up many more wind turbines and solar panels. NOW. Oh, and with massive battery storage. And, phase out nuclear.
You may think I am being sarcastic, but those were precisely the arguments used by the Greens when Texas had it winter blackout. They blamed fossil fuel, not wind and solar.
The Greens are stupid/dishonest, but they win elections.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  joel
December 12, 2022 6:46 pm

In the UK they win elections because all the major parties entitled to election publicity are just different versions of socialist Marxist Greens. We now call them the Uniparty, whether they are notional Tories or Labour or Lib Dems or the SNP or even our solitary Green MP. Many of them went through indoctrination whilst at “Uni”, which makes the name more apposite.

It doesnot add up
December 12, 2022 6:37 pm

This is the other side of the coin – the supply and trade picture. Once, the UK was self-sufficient, with a small export surplus. Production flex largely handled the winter seasonal demand. As Norwegian pipeline supply started creeping in, it was used to increase exports intially. Then it became necessary to meet winter peaks, before largely taking over the role of providing winter flex.

LNG supply was added next. This was mainly exported although occasionally it provided some winter supply – a role that has become more important in more recent years. This year the UK has become an important route for exports to the EU, with both Norwegian pipeline supply and LNG being effectively re-exported.

UK Gas Supply Demand.png
Rod Evans
Reply to  It doesnot add up
December 13, 2022 12:02 am

A very revealing graph, Many thanks, IDAU.

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