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Gas by Design

Gas by Design

Shaping policy on UK energy security challenges

The UK’s energy supply is changing. As domestic production declines, we will have to import more gas from abroad, whilst at the same time, the growing pressure to decarbonise makes future UK demand uncertain. Professor Michael Bradshaw’s research analyses the UK’s gas security challenges, and his work has shaped government policy on gas security, informed debate on domestic shale gas development and raised awareness of the geopolitical consequences of the energy transition.

The challenge

The UK’s dependence on gas brought in from abroad has increased as domestic gas production has declined. Professor Bradshaw’s research investigated how the UK can secure its energy supply, proposing a supply chain approach and the adoption of a ‘gas by design’ policy.

Our approach

Professor Bradshaw has focused on three strands of research:

  • Potential impacts of Brexit on UK gas security

  • The prospects for domestic shale gas development

  • The geopolitical consequences of the energy transition

His research proposed a ‘gas by design’ approach that charts a changing role for natural gas in the UK path to net-zero, rather than a ‘gas by default’ policy which just assumes that gas will be both plentiful and cheap as and when it is needed.

Our impact

Professor Bradshaw’s research has shown that security of demand is a much more significant threat to gas security than the security of supply.

  • In 2019, he was commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to produce a review on the future need for gas in the UK. The findings from this review informed the Energy White Paper, published in December 2020, which set out the long-term vision for energy in the UK.

  • His research has informed the public debate and government policy on shale gas development, including responses to Committee inquiries about shale gas and fracking.

  • A recognised expert in the field, his research has also featured in the Financial Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph and led him to become a trusted policy advisor to BEIS, the Cabinet Office, the National Audit Office, National Grid, and the third sector.

Read Professor Bradshaw's report on the future of the UK's gas supply

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