UK fuel rationing fears: 'Energy emergency' as Norway threatens to limit power exports

The country has drawn up plans to ration its electricity exports, sparking fears of an energy shortage. The Norwegian government also announced new rules limiting the sale of power to foreign countries earlier today. This comes as the country’s hydroelectric power plants – which generate the majority of its energy – are being threatened by unusually hot and dry weather.

The announcement comes amid growing anger in Norway over rising domestic energy prices.

The UK is expected to be more dependent than ever on the Continent for power this winter.

The National Grid expects the UK to be able to draw on 5.7 gigawatts of power from Europe – equal to around 10 percent of demand at peak times.

But around a quarter of this figure, 1.4gigawatts, is expected to come from Norway.

Kathryn Porter, an energy consultant at Watt-Logic, said the newly proposed measures “put at risk the ability of Britain to import from Norway this winter”.

She added: “National Grid ESO needs to urgently update its winter outlook taking account of this threat to Britain’s energy security.

“Longer term, we need to develop more domestic generation and rely less on imports.”

Britain’s reliance on imports for its power also came under fire from Conservative MP Bob Seely, who said: “There is likely to be an energy emergency in Europe, primarily caused by Germany’s disastrous decisions; first, to shut down its nuclear power stations to appease its obsessively anti-nuclear green lobby, and, second, to become utterly dependent on Russian gas.

“Currently, it seems likely that Putin will squeeze energy supplies further this winter to extract the maximum political pressure in Germany and other EU states that use Russian gas, such as Italy and Hungary.

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Shell’s chief executive previously warned that Europe could face energy rationing.

Speaking at the Aurora spring conference in Oxford last month, Ben van Beurden said: “It will be a really tough winter in Europe.

“We will all face very significant escalation in energy prices.

“In the worst case, Europe will need to ration its energy consumption.”

Recent analysis by energy consultancy Auxilione predicted that the energy price cap could reach £3,687 by October, almost double today’s record levels.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) told “The UK’s secure and diverse energy supplies will ensure households, businesses and industry can be confident they can get the electricity they need.

“Thanks to a massive £90 billion investment in clean energy in the last decade, we have one of the most reliable and diverse energy systems in the world.

“We have secured the capacity we need this winter to ensure households, businesses and industry can be confident they can get the electricity they need, taking account a wide range of risks, such as changes to export rules overseas.”

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