The Midstream Infrastructure briefing considers the critical infrastructures - both hard and soft - that are necessary to link gas suppliers to end users. In many ways this is the most complex, least studied and most important part of the UK's gas supply chain. This briefing describes the various elements of the Midstream, assesses their current status, considers the potential impact on Brexit, and the challenges they pose in relation to future UK gas security.
The key challenge that the Midstream has to manage is the strong seasonality of UK gas demand, which is driven largely by winter demand for domestic heating. However, in recent years the growth of low-carbon generation (wind and solar) has introduced the additional complexity of intermittency, which is resulting in swings in gas demand on a much shorter time-frame. This is a challengethat is only going to increase in the future as coal-fired generation closes (by 2025) and intermittent low-carbon generation continues to grow.