As Europe heads into winter, lower-than-expected temperatures could challenge the continent’s energy security situation.
Much of continental Europe is set to experience cooler temperatures over the next two weeks than previously forecast, according to space technology firm Maxar Technologies. Temperatures in the German capital Berlin are forecast to drop to minus 3.5 degrees Celsius (26 degrees Fahrenheit) on Dec. 3, according to Maxer, quoted by Bloomberg.
Portugal, Spain and France are expected to experience mild conditions over the next few days, but a cold front is expected by next week. A milder anomaly is expected for 6-10 days in northern Sweden and northern Norway.
Europe is now building gas storage levels to around 95% due to the recent autumn season, which has proved to be unseasonably warm. However, in harsh winters this may not be enough.
“The fact that you have plenty of storage doesn’t mean you can actually get a good night’s sleep when the weather gets colder and you need to use gas at a higher rate to support it.” The Baker Institute’s Energy Research Center said: interview in a cipher brief.
“Because we can’t store enough gas in Europe or anywhere else to store enough gas to support a country for the entire heating season. But obviously that balance is very difficult to maintain.”
Next winter season, de-industrialization
Europe could face an even tougher test next winter, according to European Commission Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni. Such developments will weigh heavily on regional economies struggling to weather massive inflationary pressures and the energy crisis.
and interview Gentiloni told Euro News that forecasts show Europe will recover by the middle of next year and inflation will ease in the second half of the year.
“At the same time, of course, we know that the energy risks for next winter, not this year, but next winter, are even worse than what we think if we can’t end the (Ukraine) war. I’m facing it now,” he said.
European household energy bills are already nearly 90% higher than they were a year ago, according to the Home Energy Price Index (HEPI) report. The war between Russia and Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions on the Kremlin are causing a cost of living crisis across Europe, it said.
In an interview with Reuters, Daniel Krall, senior economist at Oxford Economics, warned of the risk of Europe’s post-industrialization triggered by the energy crisis.
If energy prices remain high in Europe long enough for domestic industries to become “structurally uncompetitive”, many factories could close. Such factories could move to the United States, home to “abundant and cheap shale energy.”