Russia no longer supplies gas to some European countries at all, such as the Netherlands, Finland, Bulgaria and Poland. Other countries, including Germany, the main consumer, have to be content with much less Russian gas than usual. Although Russia cites technical reasons, the Germans say it is a political means of pressure to weaken European sanctions over the war in Ukraine.
The energy crisis was made more difficult by the lowering of the water level in the Rhine. Thus inland ships can carry less tonnage, while being important for transporting fuel from the ports of Antwerp or Rotterdam to the European hinterland. The water level of the Rhine will rise somewhat in the following days due to rain. It can provide some relief.
On March 7, the price of gas on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange briefly rose to a historical peak of 345 euros per kilowatt-hour, but the price fell to 227 euros on the same day when trading closed.
European Union member states aim to fill gas storage facilities to at least 80 percent before the onset of winter. If Russia continues to limit or even reduce gas supplies, countries will have to rely on these supplies quickly.
Therefore, the head of the German Energy Supply Regulatory Authority, Klaus Muller, warned in an interview with t-online that gas prices are constantly rising. Then the reserves must be replenished again. “It is important for everyone to realize that it is not just one winter, but at least two,” he told the news site. ‘Next winter may be more difficult.’
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