Energy shortages are causing an economic crisis, a hunger crisis and a climate crisis.
Germany cut off hot water in public baths. Street lights and commercial buildings were turned off.
It’s only the beginning. They will have to save. The continent is not getting the gas shipments it expected from Russia.
The question is whether Paris or Berlin gets the worst of it. Half of France’s nuclear power has been shut down.
Two actions are being taken in the European Union: They save energy. They are buying alternatives to Russian gas.
And it works. European gas reserves are increasing. The European Union says they won’t run out.
At the same time, this costs them dearly. It affects other parts of the world.
In Pakistan, they experienced blackouts this summer. Public offices and shopping centers were ordered to close. In relatively rich Thailand, they had to cancel gas purchases. All over the world, the industry has come to a standstill, because it is no longer profitable when energy is so expensive.
Putin’s gas war has repercussions everywhere. In poor countries, the problem is that rich Europe is outsmarting them, buying up the energy they intended to import.
Norway “only” has problems with high electricity prices. Authorities say they do not believe there will be legalization.
With Norway’s large revenues, the authorities should be able to help generously. If the discontent is too great, the government can lose control so that baseless actions are pushed.
The risk of legalization is much greater in countries other than Norway. On the EU side, it is said that families must be protected. It is the business world that will feel the lack of energy the most.
Countries have their plans ready for companies that must turn off the lights in any crisis.
Expensive electricity and blackouts should not be tampered with. It brings closure, unemployment, lost income to the state and the danger of rebellion.
But planning for rationing is much better than simply lacking energy. Because we can’t stand it at all.
Imagine a major European city losing power for a week. How many companies survive that? Not to mention mention people?
People die in heat waves without air cooling. They freeze to death in the cold. In agriculture, you cannot sow, vegetables do not get fertilizer, and food is not taken to markets.
An energy crisis can lead to a food crisis, a hunger crisis, a transportation crisis, and financial crises. Yes, that could lead to a climate crisis. This is the mother of all crises.
Europe now uses oil and coal as an alternative to gas. Renewable energy projects are in trouble because of all the other crises.
Because prices have long led to production cessation and bankruptcy. last year cut ya Fertilizer production due to high gas prices. The world’s aluminum production is significantly reduced.
Norway is also on its way to bankruptcy because energy prices are too high.
How bad the situation in the future depends on the weather. And what is Putin doing with gas?
He can choose anything from stopping the supply completely to flooding the market with gas to drive the price to zero and destroying the investments made.
Most likely, he will not give up the gas weapon, but continue to behave unpredictably.
So far in this war, the biggest surprise has been how united Europe was after all, and how well the United States has fared.
Russian propaganda is trying to frighten and exaggerate the energy crisis. Because the goal is to pressure the West to lift sanctions. It will be a test of strength for solidarity in Europe.
We have to be prepared for the fact that it can be very cold and everyone wants gas. In addition, China can exit the anti-Covid-19 measures and start bidding on the same gas.
If Putin succeeds, it could be a war of all against all.
But it could also be better than feared. Let’s hope for a mild winter with lots of rain and wind as Russia has to keep gas flowing to make money and avoid stopping production.
Then we can rest for a year.
But still, all is not well. Because the plan for Europe is to get rid of all Russian gas.
This could mean expensive electricity for several years to come. Electricity futures contracts are expensive.
Will we have electricity subsidies for many years? Who other than Norway can afford it? What if we had a dry year, where there is a 10% chance?
Vladimir Putin has made it very clear how dependent Europe is on his gas.
We may have to phase out fossil fuels before the alternatives are ready. But this creates a poverty crisis, a food crisis and a financial crisis. It is dangerous.
We use oil, gas and coal because we need it. Now the West must find alternatives as quickly as possible.
But replacing Russian gas could take a decade. The only thing left is to continue chopping timber in southern Norway.
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