Energy crisis could lead to winter blackouts, expert warns

Ariel view of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK at night.
The UK could face blackouts this winter, one expert has warned. (Stock image: Getty)

The UK could see power blackouts this winter due to the energy crisis, an expert has warned.

London Energy Consulting chief executive David Cox said the government needs to find more cash to "help people through this crisis", accusing politicians of "glossing over" the problem.

His comments come after Ofgem announced that the energy price cap is to rise to £3,549 from October.

Speaking on The Sunday Show, Cox said: "We’re going to be short of gas in Europe for this winter. That will drive prices potentially even higher.

"Not only that, we might be short of gas to the extent that we have blackouts, we don’t have enough gas to burn to make electricity, and that is a serious problem the Government are glossing over at the moment."

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Cox said the North Sea supplies about 40% of the UK’s gas, leaving the UK to import the remainder of its supply.

But he said shortages in Europe meant the UK would not be able to turn there and could instead have to import supplies from countries such as the US and Qatar.

With 40% of UK electricity coming from gas-fired generation, the analyst warned: "If we don’t get that gas the lights will go out and we will have power cuts."

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He added: "If we have a cold winter, colder than average, we are in serious, serious problems".

Cox insisted that more public cash is needed to help people during the "significant energy crisis".

"Where that money comes from, how it’s paid, are political choices," he said. "You can either give it directly to consumers, and we have seen some of that about to happen.

"Or you can give it to the energy companies as a loan from government, and they cap the tariff price at what it is now and that will help everyone, and you can try to target more help on the poorer consumers.

"There’s no other way of doing it, it has to come from Government money, taxpayers’ money, to help people through this crisis. It really is a significant energy crisis."