Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
21 September 2022

UK gas reserves are 96 per cent lower than in Germany right now

A lack of gas storage capacity and the refusal by the government to limit demand increases the risk of blackouts this winter.

By Nick Ferris

As Europe heads towards winter and alarm rises over gas supplies, the UK has found itself with among the lowest volumes of gas in storage in Europe.

Data from industry group Gas Infrastructure Europe shows that the UK has only 9.8 terrawatt hours (TWh) of gas in storage, equivalent to just 1.2 per cent of our annual gas consumption. By contrast, Germany has 220.8TWh, Italy 170.3TWh, and France 126.9TWh.


The UK has the second highest overall gas consumption in Europe, using gas to heat 85 per cent of homes and provide around 40 per cent of electricity. Yet while other European countries have been working to fill storage facilities over the summer, the UK has not done so. Part of the problem is that the UK dismantled its largest gas storage facility in 2017, a decision taken by Liz Truss, who was then chief secretary to the Treasury. 

In light of Russia restricting its gas exports to Europe, EU member states agreed in July to reduce gas demand by 15 per cent over the winter. Countries such as Croatia and Greece have introduced temperature limits on air conditioning and central heating, while Spain is forcing shops to turn off window lighting by 10pm.

Select and enter your email address Your new guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture each weekend - from the New Statesman. A quick and essential guide to domestic politics from the New Statesman's Westminster team. A weekly newsletter helping you understand the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email. Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

The UK gets far less of its gas from Russia, but is still exposed to price rises in the wider market and has done little to try to reduce gas demand. This increases the likelihood of rationing measures and blackouts over the winter.

[See also: The EU remains by far the UK’s biggest trading partner]

Content from our partners
How trailblazers are using smart meters to make the move to net zero
How heat network integration underpins "London's most sustainable building"
How placemaking can drive productivity in cities – with PwC

Topics in this article : , ,