Crises worldwide: UK’s energy emergency could become ‘apocalyptic’, and China’s Evergrande collapse looms (E1052)
On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to Steven Redmayne, COO of UK energy company Green, about Britain’s energy crisis. He discusses its causes, including the UK’s lack of gas storage compared to other countries, and the wave of suppliers expected to collapse this winter, further consolidating market share for the biggest among them. We go on to explore the rising demand in China for natural gas, and how the delay in opening Russia’s Nordstream 2 pipeline is causing energy prices to spike, with inaction by the British and European governments exacerbating the issue.
In the second half, we speak to economics professor David Blanchflower, of Dartmouth College in the US, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee. He discusses the potential collapse of Evergrande, China’s second-largest property developer by sales, and the ripple effect that could have across the world, should it occur, drawing on the lessons of the economic crash of 2008 about just how interconnected the global economy is. He also reviews UK PM Boris Johnson’s proposed regional “levelling-up” development program and explains why he considers it a “joke,” why the UK’s inflation rise has been caused by a series of temporary shocks, the scrapping of the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift, and the National Insurance hike, which he calls a deliberate attempt to worsen the living conditions of the poor.
We contacted Ofgem about the allegations made in this segment and a spokesperson said:
“In recent weeks there has been an unprecedented increase in global gas prices which is unfortunately putting financial pressure on suppliers. Our number one priority is protecting customers. In the event a supplier fails, Ofgem has robust systems in place and our safety net ensures customers’ electricity and gas supply continue and protects their credit balances.”