Thursday, 25 November 2010

Gas key to UK energy security

"Gas is going to continue to play a vital role in keeping the lights on,"
said energy minister Charles Hendry at the launch of a major new study into
gas. Business Gas currently
provides 50 per cent of the UK's primary energy and, as the cleanest fossil
fuel, must remain central to the energy mix if the UK is to honour its 2020
commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent on 1990 levels.

However, meeting the UK's energy security and climate change targets will be
hugely challenging. North
Sea gas reserves are in decline after four decades of
production, and in 2004 the UK turned from being a net gas exporter to a net
gas importer. It is likely to become increasingly reliant on gas imports in
coming years, possibly importing 80 per cent of gas usage by 2020. Although
the world has plentiful gas - enough for over 60 years of current demand,
according to BP statistics - global demand is also rising, perhaps by 44 per
cent by 2035, according to the International Energy Agency. This means the
UK must do more to safeguard and diversify its gas supplies.

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