Well, what action?

Nigel Pocklington, chief executive of household supplier Good Energy, said: “This is a national crisis. Wholesale gas and power prices have increased to unprecedented levels over the last three weeks … no-one in the industry is immune.”

Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive of Energy UK, said: “As the energy sector has been warning for weeks now, the unprecedented and alarming cost of gas across Europe will be the biggest issue facing the UK economy in the spring.

“We need action from the UK Treasury on this huge inflationary risk to business and economic security, and for all the ordinary people who will be facing a 50pc increase in their bill.”

It’s a global – OK, regional – price. What can the Treasury do?

Lift the price cap – but that doesn’t change wholesale prices. Go fracking? They’ve screwed that pooch. Anything else? Well, no, not really.

22 thoughts on “Well, what action?”

  1. Only thing they can do is lift the price cap and let it rip.

    And of course abolish all those idiot regulations about fracking, coal burning, nukes etc. That’d at least sort things out in the long run.

  2. To address prices they can remove the VAT, that’s 20% off for business and 5% off for homes.

    Though some self-discipline might also be in order. I was watching the TV news a few days ago and the interviewee claimed her home fuel bills were £500 a month. Mine are £50 a month, how on earth do people have £500pm home fuel bills?

  3. The Green Marxist BS beloved of Bogus Johnson has landed us here. Start with a lovely TV slagging of his greenfreak masters and then replacing Bogus with someone who cares about the UK. Plenty about–just not in politics.

    And fine MPs their wages as a well-deserved punishment.

  4. “…how on earth do people have £500pm home fuel bills?”

    Possibly by allowing a few neighbours to connect to her meter?

  5. how on earth do people have £500pm home fuel bills?

    Probably one of those ten-bedroom-mansion-owning hard-luck cases the bbc and grauniad keep showing us.

  6. The whole gas price thing is in a sense hilarious, and was very predictable…

    The Green Lobby, with all their antics, has ensured northwestern Europe has become extremely dependent on gas piped in from Russia.
    That selfsame Russia that Europe, including the UK, likes to pick fights with by trying to “meddle” in what it considers Local Affairs.

    With Putin knowing he’s got a completely toothless Europe by the collective ‘nads on this one, and quite probably laughing his arse off right now, as he and his mates make mint out of our stupidity.

    With regards to this, to my BIG surprise the new dutch Government has announced in their plans to start setting up two new nuclear plants. Something that’s always been a big political No-No so far.
    Whether they get realised is still up in the air, as the Usual Subjects are already gearing up for the interminable legal procedures and protests to ty and stop this ( probably up to and including an EU ban or something like that..) , but some people, at least, have been paying attention and are at least trying to lance the boil with a practical solution.

  7. Hey Grikath

    My bro, who lives out your way, tells me that he is going to be forced to convert his gas boiler to electricity because the government is cutting off the gas fields in North Holland, due to subsidence. Guess that’s why they need to go nuclear ?

  8. Green idiots think that they are saving the planet by banning us from drilling for our own gas and forcing us to buy someone else’s at sky high prices.

    In my, rather rural, area there has been some gas exploration going on. Opening the thing up for production is being held up by moronic local NIMBYs. They have gas piped into their houses and a sign outside that says “Green fields not gas fields”. The amount of stupidity that can be packed into just five words is impressive.

  9. Decades ago I was hired by a large oil company to look at the question of what they might usefully do with what they called “orphan” gas fields. I did some thermodynamic calculations but my advice was bleedin’ obvious really. If it were profitable to take the gas and distribute it, that’s what they should do. If it wasn’t profitable they should wait: it would become profitable soon enough, in all probability. The cost of maintaining their equipment would, in hindsight, seem trivial compared to those future profits to be made.

    My advice might well have proved wrong if big new gas fields had been discovered around the world. But they haven’t been. Whether my advice was compatible with the career incentives of the company’s executives I don’t know. I suspect that intelligent inaction isn’t fashionable with such folk.

  10. The Green Lobby, with all their antics, has ensured northwestern Europe has become extremely dependent on gas piped in from Russia.

    We should consider this when the global trade lobby encourage us to let our local industries whither against imports from countries that regard trade as a weapon.

  11. Considering the results of their actions, one does wonder whether the theory that at least some of the money to support the Greens comes from these foreign gas peddlers is correct.

  12. “the unprecedented and alarming cost of gas across Europe will be the biggest issue facing the UK economy in the spring.”

    So, just when demand starts to tail off then?

  13. They could say “yes, we will need natural gas for electricy generation for the foreseeable future and we’re shelving the silly plan to ban gas boilers” to encourage sompanies to invest in storage. Won’t do anything right now, but might help us weather the next storm.

  14. It is part of the worldwide Watermelon conspiracy. Here in the US we were doing well fracking and exporting energy until Brandon and his comrades came along. One of the things we were doing was exporting LNG to Europe to reduce the reliance on Russian gas. We were also blocking the completion of the Nordstream pipeline. That was all changed by Brandon, who never saw a US pipeline he didn’t want to close.

  15. @Ottokring

    Yeah, They’re pushing hard to switch from gas to electricity for households.
    Part of it has to do with the diminishing returns of the Slochteren gas field, and part of it is that most of the housing here is relatively new and actually suited or easily adapted for using only electricity for Stuff.
    The aim is to only use gas for industrial purposes and block heating, and do the rest on ‘leccy. Which does make sense in something as urbanised as the Netherlands. Ymmv in other places, of course.

    The decision to (plan to) build those two Nukes will in part have something to do with that, but there’s been a lot of people here in various high places who have been presented with the simple Napkin-Fu showing that when you need [X]MWh to run the place, growing to [X+]MWh because…Green, you intend to discontinue [0.6X]MWH because ….Green, and replace it with [0.2X]MWh of intermittent performance, you just might have a problem on your hands.

    Our politicians and high-up Civil Masters Servants may be as asshattish and generally useless as elsewhere, but they’re not stupid.
    And over here you can get fired and Pension Rights can be reduced/limited for proven negligence or incompetence…. Keeps ’em on their toes…

  16. Grikath: “That selfsame Russia that Europe, including the UK, likes to pick fights with by trying to “meddle” in what it considers Local Affairs.”

    Ukraine is the world’s second-biggest grain exporter. The country and its economy are our affairs, not Russia’s alone. Or are you suggesting that Europe should bow down and allow Russia now to control its food as well as its energy?

  17. “The country and its economy are our affairs, not Russia’s alone.”

    No, it’s the affair of Ukraine. Europe is effectively a toothless terrier in any beef it has with Russia, and the russians know this.

    The situation there may have an impact on us, potentially, when and if, but …. it is not “our affair”. They’re both sovereign nations. Y’know.. that Sovereignty that was the root of Brexit.. They’re both big boys with Big Boy Pants on.
    Ukraine would just as quickly be chummy-as-hell-and-it’s-never-been-different with Moscow if it was in their ( or at least their Elite’s..) interest. Actually regularly is, despite all the saber-rattling.

    I think our Host can write a whole book about how different politics work over there.
    Would love to see it actually. Preferably as a hefty dead-tree edition so it has that Whack! factor you need to …make people see sense.

  18. I had always believed that at the root of Ukraine’s problems was its racial mix. In the west we have Ruthenes whose capital is Lemberg ( whaddyasay Lwiw ? Never heard of it ) and in the east they are Russians many of whom were imported by Stalin after the Kulaks were eliminated and the great famines. The Russians owe no real fealty to the Ukraine state as it stands.
    Anyway I remember railing full of ire that the annexation of the Crimea was just the start and that Putin was doing an Adolf and seeing how much he could get away with a bit at a time. We should have “done something” back then ( not sure what, to be honest) but as so often the West has managed to shaft itself.

    PS Grikath, my bro has some sympathy with the people whose houses are falling apart on the gas field. Bah, I tell him, the gas has always been there, don’t they have surveys done when they buy or build houses ? They knew the risks when they bought the ticket, I say let ’em crash.

  19. @Otto Delft and Groningen University have , since the ’70s shown detailed plans how to compensate for the subterranean pressure loss ( potentially causing earthquakes ) ( and get every last litre of methane from the field…) .
    You lot call it “Fracking”, and guess what happened..**

    Incidentally, one of the events that Can’t Happen right now is in the exact area. The News Articles never show the *back* of those old farms, which were essentially written off and worthless ( and frankly uninhabitable ) before the seismographs went off..
    Classic dutch/belgian… The front looks Magnificent.. Don’t look in the backyard..

    Most of it is the usual people ( even recent “imports” ( talk about *cheap* real estate..) (and the province/people are …not exactly inviting..))angling for Mo’Moneh’. Because the gas made Money while they didn’t…
    It’s funny how the solidly built/maintained buildings ( quite a lot centuries old..) standing on a naturally subsiding (and how!! Worst place the be in Eur’p..) peat/clay base have no problem at all. Nor any of the modern buildings. ( which you only find in Groningen *city* (*cough*) ).

    I may have missed some parentheses there, but… yeah… The Farmers Complain and Demand Money!!

    **Honestly…. Try and explain to Numpties that injecting brine under a Cretaceous salt dome2 km down cannot, ever, possibly influence the water table and water quality 10 or even 100 meters down.
    Because if their Fears are valid, that whole gas field would not ever have been there to begin with… Or alternatively, those medieval imaginations of Hell would have been a Real Thing where they now live.
    Permeability seems to be a terribly difficult concept for some.. Same for the concept of injecting *salt* water under a salt dome, even if you demonstrate what the stuff does in a glass of water if you don’t..

  20. Ottokring: The Russian-speaking members of the Ukrainian population do owe at least something to the Ukraine state as it stands. Indeed, the reason Putin got himself in his current mess was because he believed that they didn’t. He assumed cities such as Mariupol and Odessa would welcome his little green men. But, as the inhabitants of Odessa pointed out, as part of Ukraine they’re the only free Russian city in the world, and they’d rather keep it that way thanks. Which is how Putin ended up occupying only the Crimean peninsula, but without land access, and dependent on Ukraine for power and water. Hence the current stand-off, presumably in the hope something will turn up to get him out of this hole.

    If nothing does, and he goes for the military option, then I fail to see how we in the West can just shrug it off as none of our business, assuming that outsourcing our food supply to the Kremlin won’t end up as disastrously as it has with our energy supply.

  21. Needless to say, Grikath, we had a similat situation in Austria. Near to where I used to live in Lower Austria,OMV – the state oil company – discovered a gas field that could have made Austria self sufficient for 30 years. The government put so mamy hurdles in the way that eventually OMV just abandoned the idea.

    Paul of Somerset – thank you for that. Putin is salami slicing the Ukraine. Occasionally the blade sticks, I guesz.

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