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Europe’s Energy Crisis May Not End Until 2024

Europe’s Energy Crisis May Not End Until 2024

  • The EU gas storage units are nearly full giving some relief to fears of shortages
  • Challenges remain for the continent’s energy security as winter arrives
  • The challenges will persist into the winter of 2023-24.

The worst energy security fears of spring and summer as regards the coming winter in the European Union-EU, have been somewhat allayed. Earlier this year when war broke out in Ukraine and it became clear that the conflict would drag on for months, if not years, the EU appeared perilously in danger of a winter “Polar-Geddon,” as cold air gripped the continent. Largely forgotten and retired gas storage caverns, that hadn’t been filled in the expectation of a steady supply from Russia via the Nordstream I and II pipelines, suddenly were thrust front and center into the public eye.  Troubles often come in twos. The next shoe to drop was the deflation of expectations of much of the EU electric grid base load being met by wind and solar farms, when the elements refused to cooperate. Beginning in the middle of last year, it was noted that the wind wasn’t blowing and the output of solar farms was less than predicted. These two events appeared ready to converge upon the EU and presenting it with a stark, and chilly future for the winter of 2022-23.

As is often the case, the fullness of time alleviated the worst fears as energy leaders in the countries that make up the EU, sprang into action. They turned to Norway for an additional 90 bn cubic meters of gas to begin filling the storage caverns. The infrastructure was in place, it was just a matter of price…

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