Intensifying fears of energy security dangers around Europe next winter are becoming apparent as energy futures continue skyrocketing to unimaginable levels.
Europe is now in a state of heightened alert as the continent’s north, better equipped with greater energy storage facilities, is showing clear signs of serious concern, which was not the case earlier this year, when members of the continent’s south, including Greece, were systematically underlining the dangers ahead at every EU summit.
EU energy ministers have lined up yet another extraordinary Council meeting for July 26 to seek solutions for the Russian-induced gas supply crisis anticipated for next winter.
Highlighting Europe’s growing concerns, French futures for the fourth quarter, the heart of winter, yesterday peaked at 1,000 euros per MWh.
The French government’s announcement of a plan to fully nationalize debt-laden energy giant EDF in order to help it ride out the European energy crisis and invest in atomic plants preceded this latest price surge. Half of EDF’s nuclear reactors are currently sidelined as a result of technical issues.
In Germany, futures for December, 2022 yesterday exceeded 455 euros per MWh, fueled by news that the country’s Ver.di trade union has asked the government to accelerate a rescue plan for the Uniper energy group. The company itself has ascertained that a lump-sum tax plan stands no chance of being imposed, adding that consumers will not be called upon to cover the cost of the energy group’s rescue plan.
In neighboring Austria, moves are being made to secure space at Haidach, one of Europe’s biggest storage facilities, as Russia’s Gazprom has not met rules requiring storage facilities to cover a minimum level.