Britain’s power grid raised the prospect of a tight energy supply this winter, publishing an unusual early forecast to help the energy industry prepare for strains over the winter related to the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“While Britain is not reliant on Russian gas to the extent that the rest of Europe is, it is clear that the cessation of flows of gas into Europe could have knock-on impacts, including very high prices,” Britain’s National Grid said in a new report.
The organization said it would cope with expensive and unpredictable energy, along with any outages, by delaying the closure of coal plants and encouraging greater participation in “demand side response” from energy users.
That seemed like a reference to the possible need for individuals to accept limits on electricity, which is now a threat for residents of many European countries.
On Tuesday, the European Union agreed to cut its use of gas by up to 15 percent by the spring in response to “Putin’s energy blackmail,” according to a statement by Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm.
Russia’s flow of gas into Europe fell to one-third of its average in June. The continent normally relies on Russian sources for 40 percent of its gas consumption.
Russia’s apparent attempt to pressure E.U. governments is in response to E.U. sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine. On Aug. 1, the E.U. will ban the import of Russian coal, and by the end of the year, it will ban most Russian oil imports.
Unlike many European countries, Britain produces substantial amounts of its own gas, but it has still faced skyrocketing energy prices in recent months.