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Gas shortage in Europe

  • 2 months ago (2021-09-20)
  • David Flin
Europe 864 Gas 238

Europe faces energy problems caused by surging wholesale prices for natural gas, raising the prospects of higher utility bills and forcing some manufacturers to halt operations.

Hitachi Energy
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Hitachi Energy

The shortage has been caused by a number of factors which have led to demand being higher than normal, stocks low, and supply low. Global demand has increased as economies recover from the Covid pandemic, while a cold spell early in the year reduced storage levels. In addition, strong demand for LNG from Asia has diverted supply away from Europe.

In addition, Europe has experienced calm weather in recent weeks, reducing wind power output and creating additional strain on gas supply. This is especially true in the UK, where wind normally provides 20 per cent of the country’s electricity.

Russia, the top exporter of natural gas to Europe, is not supplying as much as would be expected with gas at such high prices, even as its production has remained steady at home. A group of lawmakers in the EU has called for an investigation into the influence of Gazprom on the price spike, accusing Russia of deliberately curbing natural gas supplies to Europe.