How much stock of energy should we hold?

If you run a business you know that the stock that you hold (known in the US as inventory) is critical to the success of your business. The more stock that you hold the more capital you have tied up; in some businesses stock decays with time (such as food) or becomes less valuable by becoming unfashionable or out of date. You try to avoid buying stock that you cannot sell.

 

These factors have led most businesses to manage their stock carefully; they need enough to keep their customers satisfied but not so much that they do not have enough money to pay all their bills. So over the years, using computers and all the efficiencies of modern businesses try to get their stocks just in time to sell it when needed, because “just in time” is the most profitable way to handle it.

 

Generally speaking energy companies have tried the same approach with their stocks of fuel for the same reasons. As a nation the way our energy is organised the level of the stocks of fuel that is held is dictating by business reasons, rather than what is in the national interest. Continue reading