Germany and Austria have restarted thermal power plants
Germany and Austria have restarted thermal power plants

Germany and Austria have restarted thermal power plants

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The European energy crisis is entering a new and intensified phase this week after announcements by governments in Rome, Berlin and Vienna to prepare dramatic austerity measures when it comes to domestic gas consumption due to the dramatic drop in Russian gas flows in recent days.
Italy, the second largest consumer of Siberian gas in the European Union, is preparing to present an increased “state of readiness” at a government hearing if Gazprom continues to reduce its contracted gas supplies, Maria Dragia, unnamed government officials said.

Italian energy company Eni has received a statement from Gazprom that it will continue to deliver this energy source “according to the (significantly reduced) quantities last week (between 50 and 60% of the contracted quantities)”. The increased “readiness” is the second of three levels of measures to protect the Italian energy market available to the government in Rome, which include reducing consumption, restricting supplies to some industries, launching thermal power plants and appealing to other suppliers to increase gas supplies.

In other news, the coalition government in Berlin announced on Sunday that, in addition to its “green” priorities before the elections, it will start operating thermal power plants again this summer, which will operate at least until the spring of 2024. On June 16, only 40% arrived From previously agreed Russian gas to Germany, Siberia’s largest energy consumer.
– We will defend ourselves decisively, carefully and thoughtfully – said German Economy Minister Robert Habeck on Sunday, announcing a plan for drastic energy savings from this summer.

Habek initially indicated that filling German gas storage facilities in order to achieve energy security for the winter is an “absolute priority.” Those capacities are now 56.7% full, while Berlin’s goal is to have warehouses 90% full on November 1. On that occasion, Habek announced the introduction of an additional line of credit through the state bank KfV worth €15 billion, so that the competent company “Trade Hub of Europe” (THE) could market gas in the very expensive “spot market” (ostensibly negotiating the price). Places).

The extent of Germany’s energy rush can be seen by the fact that Finance Minister Christian Lindner has already given the “green light” to the valuable credit line, while details will be reported to the relevant parliamentary committee a week later. Habeck, without going into details, indicated that Berlin will present “auctions” in the summer, according to which German companies, ready to reduce gas consumption, will receive compensation from the state.

The turmoil with Russia and Gazprom since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine has now forced Berlin to issue a decree on the activation of a “gas alternative”, that is, to increase electricity production at coal-fired power plants. This decree, according to the first announcements, should be in effect until March 2024. Berlin has already set a date (July 8) when this legal regulation should be adopted in the upper house of the state parliament – the Bundesrat, according to POLITIKA.
– This decree is difficult for us – admitted Habek, otherwise a minister from the ranks of the Green Party who fought bitterly in the pre-election campaign to abolish coal-fired power plants.

It is not yet clear how German voters will react to this change in government energy trajectory in Berlin.
Putin’s clear strategy is to destabilize us, raise prices, and divide us. We won’t allow it – Habek promised, explaining the new package of actions.
Moscow responded sharply on that occasion. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded that the Europeans were responsible for the energy crisis in which they found themselves.

Russia remains the most reliable supplier. From a technical point of view, the mechanical infrastructure of this pipeline (Nord Stream 1) is subject to EU sanctions – Peskov said, adding: “We have gas, it is ready for delivery, but the Europeans must return the equipment, which should be repaired in accordance with their obligations. Reuters quoted him as saying.

At the same time, Gazprom yesterday remained consistent with the recent assessment of its head Alexei Miller “our resources, our bases”, and this can be seen from the fact that the Russian energy company did not book any increase in deliveries to Europe via Ukraine in July.
At the same time, the government’s decision in Vienna to reactivate the Mellah coal-fired power plant south of Graz, which was closed in 2020 after 34 years of operation, testifies to the fact that the EU is slipping into potential capacity. A “nightmare” when it comes to filling gas tanks. The Austrian government made a decision to purchase the coal needed for a navigator.

And only then begins a new nightmare for Europeans who lack energy. Namely, in the spring the European Union decided to ban further coal imports from Russia in August (during 2020, they purchased 54% of this energy source, which is a major air pollutant). The other two major suppliers in the European Union – the United States and Australia – supplied 30% of the coal. The European Union, in addition to the frantic race for alternative gas and oil suppliers this summer, is now entering a new battle with Asian and other rivals to “write off” coal until yesterday.

E2 Gateway (politics)

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