Soaring Russian Gas Prices, cold Early Winter Promise Problems to Europe, UK in Cold Season
Rising natural gas prices, an energy network 'not fit for purpose' and a shortage of lorry drivers are creating a 'perfect storm' to cripple the UK, experts warned today.
The price of wholesale gas has surged by 250% since the beginning of the year and added 70% just since August as demand increases while the economy opens up, according to figures from Oil & Gas UK.
Amid fears of soaring domestic bills and a 'three-day working week', five small energy suppliers have already gone bust, and there are warnings more will follow unless taxpayers stump up billions.
A cocktail of other factors are also at play, including gas supplies drying up from Russia, high demand in Asia, wind turbines not spinning due to still weather conditions and North Sea platforms closing for maintenance that was paused during the pandemic.
Natural gas is required to produce fertiliser, with carbon dioxide as a bi-product. The UK relies on just two foreign-owned fertiliser plants for 60% of its CO2 production - both of which have shut because they cannot break even.
This has in turn hit a food production sector already suffering from a shortage of HGV drivers. It needs CO2 for a wide range of uses including refrigeration, carbonating beer and fizzy drinks and preserving meat.
The gas is also used to stun animals before slaughter. Many abattoirs will not switch to other methods either due to animal welfare concerns or because their equipment is only set up to work with CO2, industry sources told MailOnline.