Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
June 8, 2022
It is not surprising that Europe will face a cold winter as the Ukraine war is still raging. But it is reasonable to question why the Ukraine war must last to this winter? Is there any sincere effort or leadership to end the Ukraine war now? Does the Ukraine war have to last forever?
IEA chief’s warning about improving “energy efficiency” quickly is astounding! He made the case for improving energy efficiency driving by a war. It implies that Europeans need the “war shock” to embrace energy efficiency. How “quick” is enough for him?
Rationing gas is a tough measure, but it is not only about lower home temperature by 2 degrees Celsius this winter for OECD nations, but industry outputs will also be slowed down significantly. A global recession seems inevitable! It means everyone will suffer the consequence of Ukraine war!
Natural gas rationing may come to Europe this winter unless energy efficiency starts improving quickly, IEA chief warns
Wed, June 8, 2022, 8:53 AM
- Europe could face a tough winter of energy rationing if efficiency doesn’t improve, the IEA’s executive director said.
- “I wouldn’t exclude the rationing of natural gas in Europe, starting from the large industry facilities,” Faith Birol told the Financial Times.
- Pakistan is already trimming Saturday from its work week to address energy shortages.
Europe may need to ration its energy supply if efficiency doesn’t improve and demand doesn’t cool, the International Energy Agency’s executive director warned.
If winter weather is harsh and drags on while demand in China ramps up as COVID lockdowns continue easing, then rationing is on the table unless energy efficiency starts improving quickly, Faith Birol told the Financial Times.
“I wouldn’t exclude the rationing of natural gas in Europe, starting from the large industry facilities,” he said.
Birol suggested better efficiency, renewable sources, and “making the most of existing” energy supplies would help ensure energy security, rather than starting newer and bigger fossil fuel projects.
The warning comes as Germany and Austria have also sounded the alarm over energy supplies in recent weeks, with Berlin saying that parts of large industrial businesses could be subject to a shut-off if the situation tightens.
Meanwhile, the US and EU are looking to choke off Russia’s energy exports, even as European countries rely more heavily on Russia’s supply of gas for its energy grid. While the US has emerged as a top alternative source for Europe, concern is mounting that the Kremlin is using natural gas as a weapon to punish countries that have supported Ukraine’s defense efforts.
Russia has already cut off countries including Bulgaria, Finland and Poland for not paying Moscow in rubles, as President Vladimir Putin has demanded.
Other countries are feeling the energy crunch too and have already taken steps to ration. Pakistan is trimming Saturday from its work week to address energy consumption concerns that have set off blackouts and is considering making Friday a mandatory work-from-home day, Bloomberg reported.
UPDATE 1-IEA’s Birol says harsh and long winter could trigger European energy shortage
Wed, June 8, 2022, 1:29 AM
(Adds detail on energy efficiency)
COPENHAGEN, June 8 (Reuters) – Europe could face energy shortages next winter after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has deepened the region’s energy crisis, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, warned on Wednesday.
“I am a especially worried about the natural gas markets … if we have a harsh and long winter we may see very difficult days,” said Birol at IEA’s annual conference on energy efficiency in Sonderborg, Denmark.
Birol said that while governments and companies were now looking to secure alternative energy supplies, it is equally important for governments to take measures to reduce demand.
If European consumers reduce the temperature in their homes by 2 degrees Celsius, 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas will be saved, equivalent to the volumes coming from Russia to Europe through Nord Stream 1, he said. (Reporting By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, writing by Stine Jacobsen, editing by Anna Ringstrom and Terje Solsvik)