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(to help you the UK is bottom left)
I was listening to Radio5Live during lunch and there was a discussion about gas. The question asked was 'Have we enough gas to see us through this winter?'
The answer from the studio guests was yes but I thought I'd investigate a little further because of one comment a guest made.
The UK used to receive all its gas from the North Sea but that is no longer the case as supplies dwindle. We now receive gas from Europe and further afield, although at present Norway is our main supplier.
Norway has a vast store of gas which they sell to other countries.
France also stores gas and is currently expanding their facilities while Germany has the biggest storage facility in Europe. Other European countries store gas (as you can see from the graph above).
The UK contains the only oil producing country in Europe - yes that's Scotland. Yet, since the 1970s, no government has made arrangements to store gas for our use in the colder months. We have no gas stored for our own consumption.
The UK has no gas storage facilities (although they are being considered now) and therefore, we have to import gas at peak prices, while other countries buy it during the summer months when prices are low, store it, then sell it to us at exorbitant rates during winter. That's the reason our gas prices are so high and will become higher.
All too often I say to myself these days 'why does that surprise me?' This does surprise me, it angers me too. This is a true example of the incompetence of our politicians in the last 25+ years. They have no concern for the people of these islands and what better illustration do we need to show this. Our leaders are quite prepared for many to struggle to pay gas prices and watch other put their health at risk because they just can't afford to keep warm. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows you must store essentials, be it food, gas, electricity or other forms of fuel.
Are you going to vote for people who treat us with such disdain? I'm certainly not.
I'm fortunate though, I can vote for a party which, many years ago, proposed gas storage as an issue of urgency and great importance. They were met with short shrift from Westminster who were more concerned at pleasing the south of England. If the SNP's suggestion had been acted upon, we wouldn't be paying the high prices we're paying today - none of us.
While I'm writing about energy, I thought it may interest you to know that there are a few wind turbines in this area. A friend sees some from her window. They've only turned twice in the last two weeks. EUReferendum mentioned this a couple of days ago and the latest one is here. As Richard says seems like we're more reliant on coal at present and that won't please the climate changers. It looks as if we can't rely on wind either to keep Scotland from darkness doesn't it.
I foresee a rethink about the installation of more wind turbines. If any politician is brave enough to stick their head above the parapet that is.