The business secretary reassured that gas supply “is not an immediate concern”
The business secretary said there was no “immediate cause for concern” over the UK gas supply following meetings with industry executives.
Kwasi Kwarteng had said energy security was “a top priority” as he prepared to hold talks on Saturday amid concerns over rising wholesale gas prices.
This increase was attributed to strong global demand, maintenance issues and declining solar and wind power production.
Mr. Kwarteng spoke to the general managers of energy suppliers and operators to discuss the extent of the impact of the price spike.
He tweeted: “Today I hosted a series of one-on-one meetings with senior executives from the energy industry to discuss the impact of high global gas prices.
“I was reassured that security of supply was not a cause of immediate concern within the industry.
“The UK benefits from a diverse range of gas supply sources, with sufficient capacity to more than meet demand.
“The UK gas system continues to operate reliably and we do not expect supply emergencies this winter.”
It is understood that Mr. Kwarteng has had talks with senior executives from Ofgem, Centrica, National Grid, Energy UK, Octopus, Ovo, SSE, EDF, ScottishPower, Shell Energy, E.ON, Bulb and SGN.
He said protecting customers from huge price hikes was “a top priority”.
Mr. Kwarteng said on Twitter, “The energy price cap exists to protect millions of customers. Initiatives such as the Warm Home Rebate, Winter Fuel Payments, and Cold Weather Payments will help more.
The business secretary added that he was convinced that energy security could be maintained while increasing the use of renewable energy.
He said: “Energy security is a top priority. We are confident that the supply can be sustained.
“Our largest source of gas comes from domestic production and the vast majority of imports come from reliable suppliers such as Norway. We are not dependent on Russian oil and gas.
“However, our exposure to volatile global gas prices underscores the importance of our plan to build a strong and local renewable energy sector to further reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Renewables have quadrupled since 2010, but it remains. still a lot to do.
Mr Kwarteng said he would meet again with industry regulator Ofgem on Sunday before holding a roundtable with industry executives on Monday.
He said he “will remain in constant contact” with colleagues across government to “deal with the wider implications of the global increase in gas prices.”
A former chief of regulator Ofgem has warned Britain is set to face high energy prices for the rest of the year.
Dermot Nolan, former chief executive of Ofgem, said the increases were the result of depleted stocks after a cold winter last winter, reduced supply from Russia and increased demand of liquefied natural gas from the Far East.
He told BBC Radio 4 Today: “It’s not obvious to me what can be done in the very short term. Britain has safe and relatively diverse sources of gas, so I think the lights will stay on.
“But I am concerned that it is likely, in my opinion, that high gas and electricity prices will continue over the next three to four months.
“It is very difficult to see what the government can do directly in this regard. “
Earlier, Ed Miliband, shadow secretary of state for Labor, said: “A fundamental duty of government is to ensure a secure and affordable energy supply for businesses and families.
“It is a fundamental failure of the government’s long-term planning over the past decade that we are so exposed and vulnerable as a country and it is businesses and consumers who are paying the price.
“If we had invested on a sufficient scale in diverse, secure and carbon-free energy supplies and if we had made energy efficiency a much higher priority, we would not be in such a precarious position.
“Ministers must recognize the gravity of the cost of living crisis that families are currently facing due to rising energy prices and their unfair tax hikes and reverse the cut in universal credit.
“They also need to ensure security of supply and take long-term action to build a much more robust, resilient and diverse energy infrastructure. “
An Ofgem spokesperson said: “Currently, wholesale gas prices are at an all time high, due to international supply and demand factors.
“It definitely puts pressure on companies – four of which have left the market in recent weeks.
“Ofgem cannot say if other suppliers will fail, but we have systems and processes in place to ensure that customer needs are always met.
“For customers who are with energy companies that can no longer trade, a new supplier will be appointed.
“Ofgem is working closely with the government to manage the wider implications of the global increase in gas prices.”