Nope, we're not setting up in competition with Martin Lewis: but a couple of BTLers have raised some specific energy questions of late, so here we go with another issue of the 'ask C@W' energy helpline.
Won’t the lack of LNG landing terminals in Europe mean that the UK will be alright? If the gas can’t be physically landed in mainland Europe and the UK - Europe link only has so much capacity then won’t that mean lower gas prices through winter in the UK? (Al)
Basically, yes, that's correct, although with absolute prices being sky-high whatever the physical sufficiency and price relativities, the definition of "will be alright" could be queried. UK (also Spain) is well served with LNG regas capacity and both countries are enjoying lower wholesale gas prices than the continentals, exactly as market logic would predict. Correspondingly & likewise, the UK is exporting as much gas as the pipelines to the continent can manage, based on that clear price differential. There's every reason to assume this will continue through winter; including the exports unless things get so bad that HMG introduces rationing &/or export restrictions.
This sufficiency of LNG capacity is a great free-market success story that we've written about before, contrasting with the dismal failure of central planners, particularly in Germany and, to some extent in France. Italy ought to be better off, too, but local planning laws there are skewed 99% towards NIMBY considerations and generally fatal for building regas.
We're exporting a bucket load of power through interconnects to Europe. Wonder who is doing the checking and paperwork forms on the receiving side to make sure it is up to scratch? (Sparky)
Same things as gas, with the added frisson for France that half their nukes are closed for safety reasons, pending regulatory review of their endemic corrosion problems (and of course cooling-water from shallow rivers being too warm in summer, as usual.) Oh, and nobody gets hung up about import-export paperwork. Ireland, utterly dependent on UK for energy trade, would grind to a halt in a day or two if anyone were to get sticky about that. (I know what you're thinking ... Time to play hardball ..?)
What’s happening with Rough storage - are there any plans to commission it before winter? (Al again)
Not a chance: it would take years. I'll post a longer 'history of Rough' another time - it's a fascinating case study. For now, we can say that Centrica, once big free-market advocates but latterly joining the ranks of the shameless subsidy-seekers, have been touting for government money and/or RAB approval for something, anything, to allow them to avoid writing off Rough and taking the big decommissioning hit - very expensive indeed. Before Ukraine they were peddling an implausible scheme for using Rough to store hydrogen on a seasonal basis; and CO2 before that. Needless to say, Putin's War being the latest headline grabber, it's now Centrica's latest roll of the dice. Failing that, it'll be a proposal to convert it into an offshore Nightingale Hospital; or asylum-seeker detention centre, or something. Anything.
They were such a laudable enterprise once.
Addendum: anon asks BTL below -
has Gazprom contracted to deliver any gas for this coming winter? If so, with whom? If they have contracted to do so, to what extent does it mitigate the risk of Russia’s deciding to turn off the taps?
Yes they have, in large quantities, to most of their traditional wholesale customers. Some of the latter have courageously refused to play Putin's "pay in rubles" game (a meaningless trick in economic terms, designed only to humiliate) and been unilaterally cut off. I am guessing Gazprom has made some utterly ludicrous legal claim they were 'in breach of that new (unilaterally imposed) payment term' - there are plenty of whore lawyers in Europe who'll frame the case for them - and will claim the contracts have thereby been terminated. But the
craven realistic ones in Germany, Italy et al who've knuckled under still have their contracts in place. I've yet to learn how either side is treating Russia's big cut in Nord Stream 1 volumes: it's possible (being summer) that these haven't impacted on contractual volumes per se, but only the amounts coming forward for the spot market: in which case no contractual issues would arise.
The biggest importer, Germany's Uniper (heir to Ruhrgas), has brazenly and loudly stated that it fully intends to carry on importing for the many years its Gazprom contracts have still to run. What it really means is, "until you pass a law to stop us - and compensate us, kindly don't forget the compensation".
Will Gazprom consider itself 'contractually bound' to deliver? No! They'll do exactly as they are told. As a matter of history, Gazprom has actually been a very reliable supplier over the decades; was initially (i.e. when the invasion first started) very keen not to burn any contractual boats - not least because they wanted to keep their powder dry for a legal challenge to Germany's prompt kiboshing of Nord Stream 2; and is always punctilious in terms of talking the language of 'inviolable contracts blah blah'. Pft. Meaningless in today's circumstances.
Addendum 2: further Q&A has developed BTL. And our learned friend Mr Wendland has pitched in, too.