There energy crisis in Europe? It’s all the fault of the Russia. Thus the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol which accused the Kremlin of orchestrating the worsening of the crisis at a time of severe geopolitical tensions, holding back up to a third of its gas exports.
IEA against Russia for the energy crisis
As reported by the Guardian, the executive director of the IEA, directly blamed Russia’s behavior for the record prices of the energy market in Europe this winter, which threaten sinvolve a large part of the European economy and plunging millions of people into a cost of living crisis.
Birol pointed out that i historic low levels of gas storage across Europe they are largely due to the Russian state-owned gas company, Gazprom, which has sent around 25% less gas than usual to Europe in recent months, despite a surge in demand following the 2020 economic slump.
“We believe there are strong elements of tension in the European gas market due to Russia’s behavior,” Birol told reporters. “I would like to note that the low flows of Russian gas to Europe today coincide with the increase in geopolitical tensions over Ukraine”.
The IEA’s heaviest criticism of Russia’s energy policy emerged after the Kremlin downplayed hopes for diplomatic solutions to the Ukrainian crisis in progress, before a meeting in Brussels between Russia and the 30 NATO member states. Russian forces deployed along the Ukrainian border conducted a military exercise with 3,000 troops and tanks this week, in a clear rejection of US calls for a de-escalation in the region.
At the same time, the largest gas supplier in the world has chosen to keep gas exports to Europe under control, where market prices surpassed all-time highs in September to hit a new record last month. Analysts estimate that i gas prices in Europe they could decrease by half if Russia agreed to increase its exports by 20%. Gazprom for its part has stated that it is respecting all its exports contracted with European companies.
“The current storage deficit in the European Union is largely due to Gazprom,” Birol said. “Low storage levels at the EU-based company’s facilities account for half of the EU’s storage deficit, even though Gazprom’s facilities make up only 10% of the EU’s total storage capacity.”
Chris O’Shea, the head of the UK’s largest domestic energy supplier, British Gas, warned that i prices are likely to remain high for at least another two years, based on the current outlook for global energy markets and the UK’s continued dependence on fossil fuels.
“There is no reason to think that energy prices will fall anytime soon – the market suggests that the high prices will be here for the next 18 months or two years,” he told the BBC on Wednesday morning.
“As we move towards net zero, gas is a great transition fuel, just as coal-fired power plants in other countries go out, there is more demand for gas, but there is not an abundance of gas that is it can just turn on quickly ”.
The forecast could prove devastating for British households, who face a cost of living crisis after a record hike in energy bills this winter due to the global gas crisis. The rising cost of fossil fuels has also led to record pump prices and could fuel rising inflation across the economy in the coming months.
O’Shea said it was “inconceivable” that the government and the energy suppliers fail to act to protect households from rising energy bills, which could average £ 2,000 by April. He repeated industry calls for the government to remove the 5% VAT rate from energy bills, shift green taxes into general taxation, and defer expenses taken through energy bills to cover the cost of a series of recent collapses in energy bills. providers.
In Italy it is the minister of economic development Giorgetti who, speaking of the interventions proposed by the Lega for the energy bills, confirmed that the government is working to tax the extra-marginality of energy companies which in this way would contribute to general taxation to support the most disadvantaged categories.