Russia has said it closed Nord Stream 1 because Western sanctions hindered operations. European politicians say that is a pretext and accuse Moscow of using energy as a weapon
Russia, which had supplied about 40% of the European Union’s gas before its February invasion of Ukraine, has said it closed Nord Stream 1 because Western sanctions hindered operations. European politicians say that is a pretext and accuse Moscow of using energy as a weapon.
Meanwhile in France, CRE chief Emmanuelle Wargon has announced that if energy group EDF’s race to repair corrosion-hit nuclear reactors suffers delays, “exceptional” measures this winter could include localised electricity cuts. “But there will be no gas cuts for households.”
Across the Pyrenees, Spanish Industry Minister Reyes Maroto said obliging energy-intensive companies to close during consumption peaks was an option this winter if required. The companies would be compensated financially, she said in an interview with Spanish news agency Europa Press, adding there was no need to impose such closures now.
And Finns were warned by national grid operator Fingrid that they should be prepared for power outages. Reflecting the disruptions caused across the continent, Finnish power retailer Karhu Voima Oy said it had filed for bankruptcy due to a sharp rise in electricity prices.
Meanwhile in Germany, Habeck said Berlin will not let large gas importers like VNG become insolvent, while an economy ministry spokesperson said “focused” discussions on aid were ongoing with ailing importer Uniper. The German economy is contracting already and will likely get worse over the winter months as gas consumption is cut or rationed, the country’s central bank stated to the media.
In Portugal, the government was blunt about its concerns. “From one day to another, we may have a problem, such as not being supplied the volume of gas that is planned,” environment and energy minister Duarte Cordeiro said, adding that Portugal was working to diversify its supplies to boost energy security. “Portugal has been preparing, like all of Europe, for what will be a difficult winter,” he said, urging the European Commission to move forward with plans for a joint EU gas purchasing platform and defining import prices.