As Europe’s energy crisis continues to worsen, the National Grid of the United Kingdom has warned Thursday the country of the possibility of three-hour power cuts in different parts of the country during the winter in order to save energy. 

The emergency plan will need the approval of King Charles before being pushed ahead, but the general plan is that if the Russian supply of gas to the United Kingdom is cut off, three-hour power cuts will be pre-selected across the country in order to reduce consumption by 5% and reduce the need for gas imports in the country, according to The Guardian.

Many scenarios are being mapped out, including one where the country is forced to import Liquid Natural Gas and to use coal power plants in order to power their homes and businesses, with many in the industry fearing of what may come. “We’re heading into winter in an unprecedented situation. Even during the cold war, the Soviet Union kept the gas flowing so it’s very unpredictable,” a senior industry source said. 

The United Kingdom is not the only country in Europe facing a potential energy crisis, many countries in Europe are facing similar crises due to their past reliance on Russian natural gas, which has been cut at least 75% partly due to the sanctions placed against the country for initiating the Russia-Ukraine war, Al-Jazeera reported. 

“They decided that they are going to move away from fossil fuels and not drill out their own natural resources. Europe actually has a lot of gas, but they decided that they are not going to do that, and they became dependent on imported Russian gas and oil, and now that that’s been cut off, they don’t have a backup plan,” Professor Adam Pankratz from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business said.

As a way to limit skyrocketing costs in fuel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen suggested capping energy prices, which many fear would encourage increased energy usage in the countries due to keeping the prices artificially low, Deutsche Welle reported. 

“It would rather make the situation worse because you can expect such a solution to contribute to increased consumption and fewer deliveries,” Norwegian Energy Minister Terje Aasland said.

The United Kingdom is hoping for the best in how the energy crisis may turn out, but officials in the government are admitting that they are preparing for the possible worst if Russia cuts off the energy supply. 

“Under our base case, as set out in the winter outlook, we are cautiously confident that there will be adequate margins through the winter period,” Fintan Slye from the National Grid ESO said.

Thousands of people attend the Enough is Enough strike rally Thousands of people attend the Enough is Enough strike rally outside Kings Cross station on October 1, 2022 in London, England. Today the UK Government's £150bn energy price guarantee comes into effect with average annual household bills expected to rise to £2500. People are protesting this rise nationwide by burning their bills and gathering at rallies across the nation. Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images