The year 2022 is primarily dominated by the Russian-Ukrainian war. The resulting geopolitical changes caused a state of emergency on the power markets this year. However, the framework conditions for the energy industry will not be the same in the future: energy security, diversification as well as efficiency and savings measures are coming to the fore. In the short term, energy prices in the EU have risen to record levels. The consumption of natural gas in Germany has already been reduced year-on-year. In the coming months, it will remain important to keep an eye on gas import volumes and the filling levels of storage facilities.
Prices on the European gas market have fallen sharply since August 2022 and Europe’s gas storage facilities are almost full. That raises the question if the situation on the gas market is relaxing. Find the most important answers and developments in this article.
Energy markets remain in turmoil in July 2022 due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, with prices in the short-term and futures markets fluctuating as a result of new developments. Energy company Gazprom cuts supplies by half. To reduce Germany’s dependence on Russian gas, there are plans to bring back hard coal and oil-fired power plants that are waiting in the grid reserve. The Bundestag initiated a new amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act, where the expansion targets for renewable energies were raised.
After the outlook for European gas-supply security improved significantly in May 2022, current developments are worrying. First, it is announced that US LNG export capacity is limited for the near future, then Russia significantly cuts supply volumes via the important Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
The energy markets remain in turmoil because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Besides that, the short-term and futures markets continue to react to new developments with price fluctuations. With the REPower package, the EU is outlining a path to independence from Russian fossil fuels towards the accelerated expansion of renewable energy sources. In addition, the Federal Network Agency has announced the results of the tenders for second segment solar plants and the innovation tender.
Reducing dependence on Russian gas is the order of the day. Thus, import LNG terminals will soon play an important role in Germany. The idea of building import terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the German coast is already several years old. However, political support for the construction of the planned facilities in Brunsbüttel, Wilhelmshaven and Stade was limited. Moreover, investment decisions by economic actors also dragged on for a long time, were put on hold or planning was very slow.
The Russia-Ukraine war is having a lasting impact on the energy market. While prices on the short-term and futures markets are skyrocketing, the government is trying to counteract this. With a relief package, the end consumer is to be less burdened and the emergency plan is to secure the gas supply. In the EEG “Easter package”, higher tender volumes for renewable energies were written down.
The energy systems of the two largest EU countries differ. A comparison of the electricity sectors in particular shows the contrasts. Electricity generation in France is dominated by nuclear power, which accounts for almost 70 percent, while Germany’s electricity mix relies on coal and natural gas as fossil fuels for one-third of the total. Follow us in this article as we explore the differences between the two energy systems.
Just by looking at the primary energy consumption of the two countries, the differences between France and Germany become clear. France’s primary energy consumption of about 10000 PJ was for many years about one third lower than that of Germany. However, in addition to the higher economic output, the high shares of coal-fired power generation in Germany also played an important role.