In August 2022, the energy market shows price records in short-term trading due to news about the Nordstream 1 pipeline. Price records are also set on the futures market. The traffic light coalition puts together a third relief package. The introduction of the gas procurement levy leads to a heated discussion.
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.
The German Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Habeck has declared the second of three warning levels of the Emergency Gas Plan. Besides that, the EU Parliament agreed on a reform of emissions trading. Finally yet importantly, the tenders for onshore wind turbines were unsubscribed for the first time in three bidding rounds. A bullish mood prevails on the short-term markets as well as on the futures markets.
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.
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.
Due to the war in Ukraine, February 22 was characterised by strong price movements on the short-term and futures markets. The certification of Nord Stream 2 has now been finally suspended. Due to the current high energy prices, the German government is already abolishing the EEG levy in the middle of this year. In addition, while the nuclear phase-out is scheduled for the end of this year in Germany, further nuclear power plants are being planned in France.
2022 starts with the preparation of some legislative changes. The German government wants to pass a legislative package to achieve the expansion paths for renewable energies, the EU taxonomy is currently being discussed, and a legislative reform regarding the termination of electricity contracts is being planned.
The potential inclusion of nuclear power and natural gas in the EU taxonomy has again ripped open the rifts in European energy and climate policy. What exactly does the EU taxonomy regulate and what conditions are attached to classifying the two technologies as sustainable? In this article, we put the discussions surrounding the EU taxonomy in context.