Miliband concedes UK needs more gas storage

Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has conceded that the UK needed more gas storage amid claims that the country is rapidly running out during the freezing weather

Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has conceded that the UK needed more gas storage amid claims that the country is rapidly running out during the freezing weather. But he accused the Conservatives of "playing politics" and scaring people with "meaningless" statistics about Britain's energy supplies.

Miliband stressed that figures revealed by the Tories that the UK has only eight days worth of gas storage left ignored the role of imports and the North Sea.

The spat came during question time in the Commons when shadow energy secretary Greg Clark claimed British consumers were paying more because the country lacked capacity to stockpile extra gas when prices were low.

Miliband insisted more supplies were coming online, adding: "Your figures ignore the role of the North Sea, which provide 50 per cent of our gas storage and they ignore the role of import capacity in the UK."

Clark quipped: "You should listen to your junior minister Lord Hunt, who said that the new storage capacity that has been opened in the last year has been the equivalent of five hours worth - which is about as much time as it took you to decide whether or not to back the Prime Minister.

"Fuel poverty is soaring, we have too little gas storage capacity...it is clear that every day that goes by the Government are taking us back to a world that we thought we had left behind in the 1970s."

Miliband replied: "We need more gas storage and there are more projects being planned...we do need more gas storage.

"But it is worth saying that at the beginning of this week gas storage was 80% full in the UK. Playing politics with energy security and gas storage and alarming people is the wrong thing to do."

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