Live Ukraine Updates: European Nations Prepare for Winter Energy Shortage!
Twelve villages in the east of France turn off their street lights at midnight. Home assessments are available in Barcelona. Warsaw gives money to people whose homes get heat pumps instead of stoves that burn fossil fuels.
Oil and gas prices are going up because of the war in Ukraine, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has shown that he is willing to use Russia’s energy resources as a weapon. Because of this, towns and cities all over Europe are looking for ways to use less energy.
As the country that buys the most Russian gas in Europe, Germany may be the most affected by Russia’s energy squeeze. However, many other countries are also facing, at the very least, high prices and limited supplies.
A big factor will be how cold or warm the coming winter will be. Gas demand around the world would go down if Europe had a mild winter and if China, which uses the most gas, kept shutting down because of Covid. On the other hand, harsh winter with cold temperatures would make more people want to buy, which would send prices even higher. But people in Europe can’t wait to see what the weather does.
Italy is trying to get off of Russia’s energy supply as quickly as possible. To do this, it has looked to Algeria as a possible new source of gas, stepped up its use of renewable energy, and burned more coal to power homes and businesses.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron has said that the country should be ready for a total cutoff of natural gas from Russia. He has also said that the government will make a plan to limit energy use to deal with the gas shortage. He has also said that France is less at risk than some of its European neighbors because it has a big nuclear power industry.
“Russia is using energy, like it is using food, as a weapon of war,” Mr. Macron said earlier this month.
The French prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, told lawmakers at the beginning of July that France would take back control of Électricité de France, the state-owned electricity giant that makes most of the country’s electricity and runs all of its nuclear plants.
In Belgium, the government changed its mind about ending nuclear energy by 2025 and gave two reactors another 10 years of life. And Austria and the Netherlands have taken steps to switch to coal-fired power plants that had been shut down or were set to close. But because of these actions, there are worries that the European Union will not be able to reach its goal of having net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Reuters said that Poland’s lawmakers have backed plans that would let them store more gas and make it easier to buy and sell fuel.
In a report, Britain’s National Grid talked about how tight its energy supply is expected to be this winter. The report said, “While Britain is not as dependent on Russian gas as the rest of Europe is, it is clear that the end of gas flows into Europe could have knock-on effects, such as very high prices.”
The organization put out an unusually early forecast to help the energy industry get ready for the colder months ahead. It said it would delay the closing of coal plants to deal with energy that is expensive and hard to predict, as well as any power outages.
National Grid also encouraged more people to take part in “demand side response,” which seemed to mean that people might have to cut back on their electricity use or agree to limits.