Saturday, 2 January 2010

Why is UK not making the most of its gas?

It seems that in 2010 the UK will become a next gas importer for the first time in a long time. Now I might just be stupid, but from what I had seen in the papers and heard on the TV I thought it had been a net importer for quite a long time.

So, even though the UK becomes an importer, it will obviously still be capable of producing a significant amount its own gas requirements for some time. Which begs the question as to why there is not a much more significant drive to increase the efficiency of gas use, and reduce consumption. At a time when the UK's balance of payments is worrying many politicians, this seems to be a win-win. Good for the environment, and good for the economy (okay, we need to make sure the gas is not replaced by coal or nuclear, which would be one obvious solution, but still!).

I am not suggesting that the UK should not import gas. On the contrary the relative abundance of gas is a good thing, as it is far cleaner that coal and can be used as a stop-gap, along with efficiency, until renewables can take the strain. But surely, as with everything, the country would want to use what it has as efficiently as possible first, before importing?

The money currently available for new boilers and insulation is a start (warm front), but it is not well promoted and is confusing. A simple one-stop shop for insulation / efficiency would be invaluable. There you go, dull, but practical. My idea for the day.

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