UK Gas Security Forum, University of Warwick

Overview

The secure and affordable supply of natural gas is an essential element of UK energy security. Today, the UK imports about half of its natural gas requirements and by the late 2020s this could reach over 70%. Brexit will also add new challenges to the UK’s gas security. It became clear that assessment of the current role of EU legislation and institutions in managing the UK’s gas supply chain was needed and that this could only be achieved by bringing together the key stakeholders involved in managing and influencing that supply chain. The University of Warwick’s ESRC IAA enabled Professor Michael Bradshaw (Warwick Business School) to bridge the gap between research findings, key stakeholders, and real-world policy influence.

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What we did

The University of Warwick’s ESRC IAA provided funding for Professor Bradshaw to create a UK Gas Security Forum – a network of academics, industry organisations, think tanks and NGOs involved in UK energy policy and the UK gas supply chain. In 2017 – 2018, the UK Gas Security Forum met three times and coproduced a series of briefing papers and a final position paper, providing an updated assessment of UK gas security to inform the formulation of post-Brexit gas security strategies. This research assessed the current status of the infrastructures that link gas suppliers to end users and analysed the potential impact of Brexit. In cooperation with National Grid, a new approach to measuring gas security was developed that moves beyond security of supply to consider both midstream resilience and downstream demand.

Outcomes for our partners

The IAA-funded project succeeded in creating a safe space for a wide range of stakeholders to exchange views on the current challenges facing UK gas security and potential impact of Brexit. The Gas Forum activities have raised the profile of the work on UK Gas Security, resulting in invitations to participate in BEIS and industry-led forums. This in turn established an invaluable relationship with the BEIS team responsible for UK gas security and has since resulted in further work on the future need for gas in the UK’s energy system. Professor Bradshaw also attended the National Grid’s Gas Operational Forum and his research has helped to shape their consultations with the Government following the ‘Gas Deficit Warning’. The forum has created a network of contacts in the industry that will be invaluable for future research and has opened doors for further impact as the UK gas industry continues to respond to geopolitical developments and the demands of Net-Zero.

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