Do you remember all the talk that the summer of 2005 was going to be a sizzler? There was a date in mid August, when they were saying it was going to be the hottest day ever recorded in the UK. In fact it rained that day, and it felt more like autumn. For all that, with the summer proving to have an Indian feel to it, it turned out to be a good one.

Now, the met office is warning that we are in for a cold a winter, with temperatures below average. And that’s a major problem.

For some time now, the UK has been short on gas, but the succession of mild winters meant it didn’t matter too much. But as we move from a country self sufficient in gas, to one that relies on imports, the infrastructure isn’t quite in place.

As we say, this isn’t a new problem. It was a similar story last year, with experts warning that supply might not be great enough to meet demand if there was a surge in gas usage.

Now CBI director general, Sir Digby Jones, has warned that: “If we don’t sort out our decrepit supply system, we are, this winter, going to run out of fuel.”

The CBI reckons we have a mere 11 days worth of gas in reserve, compared to 55 days in most other European countries.

“Since 2003, many local authorities have denied planning permission to build new storage capacity, and when industry has appealed those decisions and taken them to central government in Whitehall, John Prescott’s office has refused as well,” Sir Digby said. He added: “The government never seems to take the energy debate to the consumer – they take it to business all the time. We have to have a proper debate about whether we need nuclear power.”

© Investment & Business News 2013