For days there has been one crisis meeting after the next in London to deal with the chaos in the gas industry.

The simultaneous explosion in prices and demand is not only causing companies to collapse and citizens fearing higher gas bills - we are talking about bottlenecks that could change people's everyday lives.

Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng felt compelled to assure that "the lights will not go out" in the country while the Prime Minister reassured the citizens at home on his trip to America.

The gas crisis is the result of "many short-term problems" and only reflects that the global economy is waking up from its corona slumber, said Boris Johnson.

That will "get better soon".

Jochen Buchsteiner

Political correspondent in London.

  • Follow I follow

Experts cite numerous other reasons for the misery: Russia's gas policy, a damaged cable for electricity from France, short-sighted precautions, regulations that make it difficult for energy companies to react flexibly, and much more.

Minister approaches critics

A major political problem could develop for the government that skeptics of climate protection policy are declaring the green restructuring of the economy to be the "real root" of the energy crisis. Johnson, who wants to present his country as a role model at the world climate summit in Glasgow at the beginning of November, threatens to get caught in a pair of pincers, because from the other side he is accused of being half-hearted about climate policy. For weeks, members of "Insulate Britain" - a splinter from "Extinction Rebellion" - have been blocking highways. Hundreds have already been arrested and would like to present themselves as (climate) political prisoners during the summit.

Conservative critics of Johnson's “green industrial revolution” complain that he “pursued climate neutrality at the expense of security of supply and affordable energy,” according to writer Matt Ridley. Instead of using modern fracking technology and building a domestic gas industry, he relied too much on the "unreliable" renewable energies and now has to fill the gaps with expensive imported gas. According to experts, the share of wind energy in the overall mix is ​​normally 18 percent. Due to the windless summer this year, it has shrunk to two percent.

Critics complain that the “green levies”, ie taxes to promote sustainable energies, have driven up electricity prices. According to the regulator Ofgem, "Britain's prices are consistently above the EU average and the highest overall". The government has repeatedly promised to achieve climate neutrality in 2050 with no burden on citizens and speaks of a "success".

Kwarteng pointed out Tuesday that the UK accounts for thirty percent of the global offshore wind market. The share of coal in the energy mix has decreased from 40 to two percent since 2012. “The decarbonised energy supply has brought us more security of supply,” he asserted, while at the same time taking a step towards the climate activists: “More needs to be done”, especially when it comes to house insulation. The isolation of all social housing by 2025 is the central requirement of "Insulate Britain".

Keywords: