Posted 10/11/2021 06:08 (#9262919 - in reply to #9262468) Subject: RE: Some reason fuel prices are expnsive
Balmy autumnal days in Europe have brought with them a big problem: a lack of wind.
Without consistent August and early September breezes the wind farms peppered along the Danish, Dutch, German and British horizons have been unable to generate reliable energy supplies or bolster stocks for the upcoming winter season. The timing could not be worse.
Just as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pushing for $100bn for climate initiatives and agreement at the COP26 conference in Glasgow next month for a halving of global emissions, the realities of renewable supply fluctuations are causing unrest across the continent.
Politicians are praying for a mild but blustery winter amid fears blackouts and soaring bills could force major industries to scale back to three-day weeks.
In August, when the wind over the North Sea was weak, renewables provided just 2 per cent of energy on some days, well down on that month’s average of 18 per cent. In Britain, these fluctuations are usually supplemented by local and imported gas supplies, most of which come from Norway, and 5 per cent from Russia.
Across the continent Germany, Italy, France, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria and Slovakia all draw deep supplies of gas from Russia, and some from Norway, to smooth their energy supplies too.
But with conditions becalmed, Russian President Vladimir Putin has tightened supplies of gas, with sharp repercussions across the continent.
The price of gas has gone through the roof. Putin may be having fun at various world leaders’ expense, raking in handsome profits or topping up his domestic gas supplies ready for winter. Or, as many believe, Putin has exploited the energy crisis with a geopolitical ploy to pressure Germany into fast-tracking final approvals for the controversial $US11bn Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia into Europe.
Last week Putin said he would increase Russia’s gas supplies to the West, easing some pressure on the skyrocketing gas price, but raising fears that Europe will be beholden to the whims of the Kremlin for manufacturing and heating certainty.
Gazprom has kept gas flowing, but for four months the company hasn’t booked any extra supply. Everyone is scrambling for what is available, resulting in soaring wholesale prices.
Some gas-reliant industries, such as fertiliser manufacturers, closed their doors when wholesale gas prices trebled, although one reopened when the British taxpayer stepped in. This is because Downing Street didn’t want food shortages compounding other domestic issues such as the lack of truck drivers leading to fuel shortages.