A report from the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) has called for the UK Government to outline its plans for gas supplies following the country’s exit from the European Union (EU).

The document urged ministers to lay out a post-Brexit roadmap, including how the interconnectors that bring gas from Belgium and the Netherlands will be regulated if the UK leaves the EU Internal Energy Market.

Investment in the UK’s gas infrastructure is currently mired in uncertainty due to Brexit and climate change policies, which require the country to cut its carbon dioxide emissions.

The report uses the example of National Grid issuing its first gas deficit warning for eight years during this spring’s “beast from the east” cold snap to highlight the dangers the UK faces if plans are not put in place.

Higher prices

Michael Bradshaw, Professor of Global Energy at the University of Warwick and the report’s author, said: “While there is this degree of uncertainty, it is difficult for industry to justify investments in the supply chain, whether to maintain existing capacity, deliver new sources of flexibility, or explore carbon-capture solutions.

“Our analysis concludes that gas will continue to flow after Brexit, but consumers may have to pay more to guarantee supplies as the UK competes in the global gas market.

“While Brexit is a complicating factor, responsibility for strategic leadership rests with the UK Government and we urge them to provide a clear roadmap for gas in the low carbon transition and to draw up a proper long-term gas security strategy.”

> Download the report