In Europe, there is a shortage of natural gas and a fivefold increase in gas prices before the onset of winter. In addition, the northern hemisphere has now added oil shortages, Euronews states.
Experts warn that in the event of severe frosts, heat bills could increase by 40%.
Gas prices rose due to growing industrial demand in the post-harvest period. The transition to green energy and depletion of stocks due to last year’s cold also led to higher prices. The decline in coal production in Europe occurred during the period when the capacity of wind farms decreased due to weather conditions. In addition, Europe is reducing domestic natural gas production. For example, in 2018, the leading natural gas producer in Europe, the Netherlands, began the phasing out of its main gas field, Groningen.
As a result, oil demand will grow by 500,000 barrels per day. In the last months of 2021, the global deficit will be 700,000 barrels per day, warned the International Energy Agency. They also claim that during the transition to renewable energy will have to go through another energy crisis, writes the BBC.
According to Gas Infrastructure Europe, the percentage of gas stored in Europe’s storage facilities is 74% compared to the same period last year, when it was 94%.
Experts explain that funding for oil, coal, and nuclear power plants has run out after the price collapse of 2014-15 and 2020. At the same time, investment in alternative energy is insufficient to build windmills and solar farms in quantities capable of meeting growing demand.
Fossil fuels still account for more than 35% of total EU production, with gas accounting for more than a fifth. The structure of energy consumption in the bloc countries varies greatly: fossil fuels have a small share in Sweden, France, and Luxembourg, but account for more than 60% of total production in the Netherlands, Poland, Malta, and Cyprus.
This season, consumers are likely to see an increase in their electricity bills. Natural gas is not only one-fifth of all electricity in Europe, but is also used for heating and cooking. In 2018, the heating of houses accounted for about 45% of energy. For example, in Germany and Spain, prices in September were three or four times higher than the average of previous years. France has unveiled a series of measures, including a 100-euro “energy check” to help people pay growing bills. Spain and Italy plan to reduce energy taxes. The latter warns that this year’s bills will increase,” by 40%.
A European Union-wide study in 2019 found that 6.9% of people in EU member states cannot maintain a sufficient level of heat in their homes.