The National Gas Grid

Gas Demand predicted and actual from October 2009 to March 2010. Downloaded from National Grid on 8th January 2010

Gas Demand predicted and actual from October 2009 to March 2010. Downloaded from National Grid on 8th January 2010

There have been several ‘stories‘ recently about the National Gas Grid and about how there may be a gas shortage. However behind the ‘OMG we are all doomed‘ stories is an everyday engineering miracle operating at the limits. The National Gas Grid Site gives information on predicted and actual gas demand the graph at the top of the page shows predicted and actual gas demand for the current winter. The three curves show expected demand for a mild winter, a normal winter and a cold winter. The small notches in the demand curves are the reduction in gas demand at the weekends. Weaving in between these predictions is the actual demand, which at the moment is very close the predicted demand for a cold winter. So no news there.

The demand is predicted in terms of a ‘composite weather variable’ which combines actual temperatures and wind speeds. The following links may help you navigate the site

  • Click here for the the operational data page, with several links.
  • Click here for the downloadable demand data in Excel spreadsheet format.
  • Click here for the downloadable gas storage data in Excel spreadsheet format. At teh current (very high) usage rate we have around 62 days of gas storage, which should see us through the cold ‘snap’. So no news story there.

I have posted this because this engineering miracle is out there, working to heat us all. Understanding that the data describing its performance is there for us to read helps to de-mystify the way in which we use energy. And de-mystification – the understanding that this is not magic but engineering – is IMHO urgently required.

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