Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t JoNova; As Europe emerges from a harsh winter with depleted gas reserves, desperate European governments are increasingly firing up old coal plants to bridge the energy supply gap.

Gas Is So Scarce in Europe That Coal Is Making a Comeback

Market Trading Essentials

Europe is so short of natural gas that the continent — usually seen as the poster child for the global fight against emissions — is turning to coal to meet electricity demand that is now back to pre-pandemic levels.

Coal usage in the continent jumped 10% to 15% this year after a colder- and longer-than-usual winter left gas storage sites depleted, said Andy Sommer, team leader of fundamental analysis and modeling at Swiss trader Axpo Solutions AG. As economies reopen and people go back to the office, countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Poland turned to coal to keep the lights on.

“Energy demand has been pretty strong in Europe and we have seen a recovery from the pandemic,” Sommer said in an interview. “Gas storage is so low now that Europe cannot afford to run extra power generation with the fuel.”

“People thought Russia was going to book more capacity via Ukraine and that just hasn’t happened in a meaningful way,” said Trevor Sikorski, head of natural gas and energy transition at consultants Energy Aspects in London. “The market is super tight, it’s trying to get less gas into power.”

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Remember, these are the climate hypocrites who a few days ago issued a G7 communique declaring the end of coal.

JoNova reports the gas shortage is self inflicted. Harsh environmental rules and public opposition to fracking appear to have crushed European domestic gas investment. Nuclear power might have saved Europe, but anti-nuclear activism and a pan-European obsession with unreliable green energy appears to be leaving Europe utterly dependent on whether Russian President Putin decides to “book more capacity via Ukraine”.

via Watts Up With That?

June 16, 2021