Even before winter arrives, energy costs in Europe are breaking records again, and one of the worst cost crises in history is going to worsen when temperatures drop.
Last month, a dramatic jump in pricing in the UK led several industrial enterprises to halt output and seek government aid, a foreshadowing of what might happen on a larger scale in Europe when the Corona virus resurfaces.
It might involve tensions with neighboring nations over supply-protection measures for governments, and it could mean being urged to consume less energy or even arranging blackouts for households.
The issue is that no supply-side solution is expected to emerge anytime soon, with Russian exporters only pumping what they can and Qatar claiming to be producing all it can. The energy market has little choice but to rely on “Killing Demand,” according to Fabian Roeningen, an analyst at Rystad Energy.
The prospects add to Europe’s pessimism; the area has once again become the hub of the pandemic, with high Covid-19 virus infections, and anxieties have gripped the globe over the new “Omicron” mutant discovered in South Africa.
Some nations have tightened limitations at a time when household budgets are being squeezed by high inflation; also, freezing weather may cause power outages, and a return to the closure, as Austria has done, would help cut electricity usage.
Risks of power outages in France
France, the second-largest economy in Europe, is particularly susceptible, with the likelihood of a dramatic decrease in temperatures in January and February causing alarm for the country’s network operator.
According to a study released on November 22, the operating rate available at nuclear facilities, the backbone of the French electricity grid, was low owing to the pandemic delaying maintenance on several reactors.
Electricity costs in France are reaching record highs as a chilly wind blows through the country, and demand is likely to grow on Monday as the working week begins.
France is also a key source of power for neighboring nations, thus the crisis’ impacts will be felt in Germany, Spain, Italy, and the UK.