Energy expert says UK is ‘one of the least prepared’ countries for ongoing crisis

An expert in energy markets has said that the UK is ‘one of the least prepared’ countries for an energy crisis, and that it has not prepared to pursue decarbonisation while wind power intermittent.

Sir Dieter Helm, a Professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning that while the UK purchases most of its natural gas from Norway, this does not mean its prices are not impacted by the “dash” for gas as wind power generation hit lows over the summer, causing price hikes across Europe.

A soar in post-pandemic demand has also led to heightened demand across the world, notably in Asia.

Professor Helm authored a review into the UK’s energy security for the government in 2017 in which he laid out how Britain could reduce costs in the power system in the long-term whilst ensuring it met its climate change targets.

He suggested that lobby groups ensure the government has not enacted a long-term plan for energy.

He told the BBC that the UK has one of the “least prepared” energy markets, with “little” capacity for energy storage leading to a reliance on liquefied natural gas tankards shipped form abroad.

He said that while he thought decarbonisation of energy was “essential”, the UK had not “thought through how to transition” to a net-zero energy market while wind power generation remains unreliable.

He emphasised that wind and nuclear prices had not risen as a result of the crisis and said the market was “badly designed”.

He said fracking was an important part of world energy supplied but that it was not “practical” in the UK due to its geological structure and population distribution.