Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Energy 154, Europe rising energy prices, blackout threats, 40 reports

See these stories and reports about the folly of ditching fossil fuels in favor of intermittent wind (and solar) power, case of Europe especially UK. Thanks to TWPF/Benny Peiser for their "Net Zero Samizdat" email service, where many of the stories below were taken.

(1) Europe’s ambitious net-zero pledges hit home—with eye-watering energy bills 
BY  SOPHIE MELLOR  September 10, 2021 11:55 PM GMT+8 

The continent's gas crunch is causing extreme volatility, with the U.K. on Thursday seeing its electricity price jump 10-fold during one seven-hour period, to a record high of £2,300 ($3,180) per megawatt-hour (MWh), as Ireland, which regularly exports wind energy to the U.K., itself faced supply shortages.

(2) Energy Prices in Europe Hit Records After Wind Stops Blowing 
Heavy reliance on wind power, coupled with a shortage of natural gas, has led to a spike in energy prices
By Joe Wallace   Sept. 13, 2021 6:17 am ET

(3) EU braced for pandemonium as Yellow Vests chaos to spread across WHOLE of bloc 
BRUSSELS has been warned of increasing discontent across the bloc over fears of EU-wide Yellow Vests protests.
By ALESSANDRA SCOTTO DI SANTOLO  08:38, Mon, Sep 13, 2021 

The daily average price of electricity in the wholesale market broke a new historical record last month in Spain, reaching €124.45 per megawatt per hour (MWh).

Carbon dioxide is also getting ever more expensive in Poland topping €60 for a ton, 12 times more than four years ago.

(4) Europe’s Climate Lesson for America 
As wind power flags, energy prices are soaring amid fuel shortages.
By The Editorial Board  Sept. 14, 2021 6:32 pm ET 

Electricity prices in the U.K. this week jumped to a record £354 ($490) per megawatt hour, a 700% increase from the 2010 to 2020 average. Germany’s electricity benchmark has doubled this year. Last month’s 12.3% increase was the largest since 1974 and contributed to the highest inflation reading since 1993. Other economies are experiencing similar spikes.

(5) GWPF warns ministers not to draw the wrong lessons from Europe’s energy crisis 
Date: 15/09/21   Global Warming Policy Forum 

As a matter of fact, policy-driven costs are much more important than market prices as is evident when US and European energy prices are compared. In fact, natural gas prices in Europe are more than three times as high ($18/MMBtu) as they are in the US ($5/MMBtu) where fracking is widely used and shale gas is cheap and abundant.

(6) UK electricity prices now most expensive in Europe

(7) Power prices soar after key electricity cable between UK and France catches fire
British electricity prices jumped by 19 per cent to £475 per megawatt hour on Wednesday
Holly Bancroft  September 16, 2021

The fire will reduce imports from France until the end of March 2022, the National Grid has warned. British electricity prices meanwhile jumped by 19 per cent to £475 per megawatt hour on Wednesday. 

(8) Europe Could Turn To More Coal If Gas Crunch Persists 
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Sep 16, 2021, 11:00 AM CDT 

In the UK, now a non-EU country, surging natural gas prices and warm and still weather forced the country to fire up last week an old coal plant that was on standby in order to meet its electricity demand.

(9) Energy Crisis Worsens as Rally Hits Europe’s Industry Giants
By William Wilkes, Anna Shiryaevskaya, and Alex Morales
September 17, 2021, 11:00 AM GMT+8 Updated on September 17, 2021, 3:33 PM GMT+8 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-17/energy-crisis-worsen-as-rally-hurts-europe-s-industrial-giants

(10) September 2021 Energy Market Brief
UK Energy Prices Find New Market Highs, As Prices Continue Their Upward Trend

(11) Power Markets In Crisis
By Paul Homewood  SEPTEMBER 17, 2021

The National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios are based around up to 25 GW of interconnector capacity, which amounts to playing Russian Roulette with our energy security. As we have seen this month, when we are short of wind power, the rest of Northern Europe tends to be as well.

(12) UK Gas Price Surge Forces Key Industrial Sites To Close
By City A.M - Sep 17, 2021, 1:30 PM CDT

Two industrial sites that produce a combined 40 percent of the UK’s fertiliser have been forced to halt operations due to recent record gas prices. 

The Times reported that CF Industries had shuttered its plants at Billingham in Teesside and Ince in Cheshire as a direct result of the price spikes.

The closures came as gas prices hit record levels yesterday after a fire at a National Grid facility in Kent forced one of the UK’s crucial power interconnectors to close.

(13) Propane Prices Soar As Inventory Concerns Mount Ahead Of Winter 
BY TYLER DURDEN   WEDNESDAY, SEP 15, 2021 - 09:20 PM https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/propane-prices-soar-inventory-concerns-mount-ahead-winter

(14) Major UK Fertilizer Plants Shuttered Due To Skyrocketing Natural Gas Prices 
BY TYLER DURDEN  THURSDAY, SEP 16, 2021 - 04:15 AM https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/major-uk-fertilizer-plants-shuttered-due-skyrocketing-natural-gas-prices

(15) Fire At UK-France Subsea Power Cable Could Trigger Winter Blackouts
BY TYLER DURDEN   FRIDAY, SEP 17, 2021 - 02:45 AM

(16) UK Gas Crisis Stuns Poultry Slaughterhouses, May Trigger Higher Chicken Prices

(17) Skyrocketing Energy Prices Could Cripple Europe’s Economy 
By Tsvetana Paraskova - Sep 18, 2021, 6:00 PM CDT 

CF Industries, a manufacturer of hydrogen and nitrogen products, said this week it was halting operations at both its Billingham and Ince manufacturing complexes in the UK due to high natural gas prices.

Norway-based Yara, one of the world’s top ammonia producers, is curtailing production due to the record-high gas prices.

(18) EU energy crisis: Brussels faces 'tough' reality check over 'challenging' green policy 
THE EUROPEAN UNION faces the risk a full-blown energy crisis as nations look to phase out fossil fuels to meet the bloc's green energy agenda, an expert has told Express.co.uk.
By SEBASTIAN KETTLEY  13:01, Sat, Sep 18, 2021 

According to Craig Golinowski, managing partner at Carbon Infrastructure Partners (CIP), countries that have vowed to eliminate fossils fuels are at least 50 years out from achieving this goal.

He told Express.co.uk: "Human beings have not hit peak demand for coal. Oil and natural gas demand will grow for decades. There is no alternative to fossils fuels today, tomorrow and for decades to come.”

(19) Government races to save businesses as energy prices soar 
Food shortages looming after factory closures hit production
Ashley Armstrong, Retail Editor | Emily Gosden, Energy Editor
Saturday September 18 2021, 12.00pm BST 

High energy prices prompted the closure of two fertiliser plants in northern England this week, leaving the food and drink industry facing a shortage of carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct of fertiliser manufacturing. The gas is critical to the production and transport of a range of products, from meat and bread to beer and fizzy drinks. It is also used in hospitals and nuclear power stations.

(20) Household bills will soar by more than £1,500 a year with families on the cusp of the biggest spending squeeze in nearly a decade, experts warn 
PUBLISHED: 22:52 BST, 17 September 2021 | UPDATED: 09:40 BST, 18 September 2021 

'Perfect storm' of price and tax hikes could push family finances to the limit' 
Energy prices have rocketed this week leading to suppliers pulling deals
And inflation jumped from 2 per cent in July to 3.2 per cent last month

(21) Becalmed wind energy sector has UK turning to coal 
Lack of windy weather over the past two weeks has cut output from 11,000 turbines, which account for more than 20% of power generation
18 SEPTEMBER 2021 - 11:26 

Calm weather over the past two weeks has cut output from the country’s 11,000 turbines, which account for more than 20% of electricity generation. Coupled with a Europe-wide gas shortage, the crunch has forced some companies to halt operations, which could hold back the economy if they become more widespread.

(22) Environmental hubris has left Britain vulnerable to Putin’s gas 
September 18, 2021

(23) Suicidal energy policy empower Britain’s enemies 
September 19, 2021

(24) Energy prices will push up inflation across Europe, economists warn 
Higher bills will hurt consumers and threaten the region’s post-pandemic economic recovery
Valentina Romei in London SEPTEMBER 19 2021 

“Brace for a surge in eurozone gas inflation,” said Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Rising energy prices will drive “an acceleration in the eurozone’s headline inflation,” added Daniel Kral, economist at Oxford Economics.

(25) UK energy groups ask for state ‘bad bank’ to weather gas crisis 
Minister holds emergency talks with regulator and suppliers as PM says problems are ‘temporary’
David Sheppard, Sylvia Pfeifer and George Parker in London, Laura Hughes in New York and Nathalie Thomas in Edinburgh  September 20, 2021 

Kwasi Kwarteng, UK business and energy secretary, will today meet energy suppliers face to face amid fears that dozens of smaller challenger companies could go bust in the coming weeks because of record wholesale costs of natural gas and electricity.

(26) Gas Crunch Threatens UK Energy Industry With Wave Of Bankruptcies
By Irina Slav - Sep 20, 2021, 9:30 AM CDT

Since the start of the year, seven electricity suppliers in the country have gone under, Bloomberg reports, because of failing to hedge against price hikes. This meant that they sold electricity to clients at lower prices than the current ones. They must now buy it expensively and then sell it cheaply, which is the fastest way to bankruptcy.

(27) British energy firms fear collapse as Europe’s gas crisis sees prices surge 250%

The front-month gas price at the Dutch TTF hub, a European benchmark for natural gas trading, gained on Monday to trade at 73.150 euros ($85.69) per megawatt-hour, hovering close to the record high seen last week.

Since January, the contract has risen more than 250%.

(28) European Gas Prices Soar 10% As Russia Refuses To Open The Taps
By Julianne Geiger - Sep 20, 2021, 1:31 PM CDT

... Russian Gazprom has refused to allow more gas into Europe via Ukraine for October, sending prices soaring another 10 percent Monday. 

Russia’s move to keep flows to Europe at a minimum means the continent cannot store up ahead of the winter months. 

According to Bloomberg, European gas storage is only at 72 percent capacity--a point they have been reduced to at this time of year in over a decade. 

(29) Taxpayers face multibillion-pound bill to bail out failing energy firms, soaring bills AND empty supermarket shelves - amid fears dozens of gas companies could go to the wall in gas supply crisis 
PUBLISHED: 22:31 BST, 19 September 2021 | UPDATED: 07:57 BST, 20 September 2021 

Taxpayers could be hit with bill as energy bosses try to ease soaring fuel costs 
UK's biggest power firms calling on Government to remove green subsidies
Comes as Government prepares to take over running small suppliers collapsing
Industry seeking a multi-billion-pound package from Government to help sector

(30) The Dangerous Rally In Natural Gas Prices 
By David Messler - Sep 20, 2021, 7:00 PM CDT 

Europe and the UK pay a price for energy “Greening”

One factor is the "greening" of the energy supply around the world, particularly in Europe. Much of the current global environmental impetus culminating in the thinking of Co2 as a harmful gas has its origins on the Continent and has easily spilled over the Channel to the U.K. Over the last decade, European countries have shifted to wind and solar for electricity generation, in pursuit of Paris goals and NetZero carbon in 2050. They have paid a price for this greenness ass you can see in the chart below. By comparison, in much of the U.S. utility rates average around $0.13 per KWH.


(31) Enabled by Biden, Putin declares energy war on Europe 
by Tom Rogan, Commentary Writer |   | September 20, 2021 01:49 PM 

… Gazprom booked only a third of available capacity through Poland and roughly a tenth of available capacity through Ukraine. This has sent energy prices soaring even higher, now above $900 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gazprom's move follows similar supply cuts earlier this summer… Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller is a Putin puppet risen from the Russian leader's old guard in St. Petersburg.

(32) THE SUN SAYS We should have got cracking with fracking to keep Britain powered and not surrender to eco protesters 
21:36, 20 Sep 2021Updated: 21:36, 20 Sep 2021 

So we banned fracking, closed power plants and let our nuclear energy ­programme decline.

Then we blithely committed to zero emissions by 2050, a laudable aim but without a thought given to how households will pay for it.

(33) Energy crisis could erupt into 'biggest political issue of decade', Tories warn 
September 20, 2021 

The energy price crisis, broader inflationary pressures and a double-whammy of tax rises and benefit cuts threaten to create a challenging winter for Britons. A study by the Legatum Institute warned that ending the uplift to Universal Credit next month will push a further 800,000 people into poverty.

(34) Britain’s energy woes catch vulnerable sector in perfect storm
Suppliers have been battered by external forces but their plight also stems from policy flaws
Nathalie Thomas in Edinburgh and David Sheppard and Jim Pickard in London   21 September 2021 

Five smaller suppliers have collapsed in the past six weeks, with four or five more expected to join them in the next 10 days as the industry is battered by unprecedented surges in wholesale electricity and gas prices. 

Observers are predicting as few as 10 suppliers will make it through the winter, implying 40 could go bust. Some executives have privately suggested the sector could go back to a big four, five or six companies.

(35) ‘Absolutely no question of lights going out’ this winter over hike in energy prices, cabinet minister says 
Government will not be ‘bailing out’ failed energy companies, business secretary adds
Ashley Cowburn  21 September 2021 

(36) Energy crisis – live: Government strikes deal to restart CO2 production as price cap could rise by £178 
Chiara Giordano,  Celine Wadhera  September 21, 2021 

Cornwall Insight’s researchers expect the price cap will be raised to £1,455 for the six months from the beginning of April next year.

This would be a 14 per cent rise from the already record-breaking £1,277 that customers will pay between October and April, and up £317 from current levels.

(37) British Steel warns of up to 50-fold increase in power prices 
Sylvia Pfeifer and Harry Dempsey in London  September 21, 2021 

Steelmaking is highly energy-intensive; electricity costs can represent up to 20 per cent of the costs of converting the basic raw materials into steel. UK Steel, the industry association, said last week that some producers were suspending their operations for limited periods at peak times.

British Steel, which is owned by Chinese industrial conglomerate Jingye, said it was now being quoted a maximum price at peak times of “up to £2,500” per megawatt hour, compared with an average rate of £50/MWh in April.

(38) Energy price rises: Dozens of firms will be left to collapse 
Households face higher bills after ministers reject bailouts
Steven Swinford, Political Editor | Emily Gosden, Energy Editor
Tuesday September 21 2021, 9.05am BST 

Ministers are instead considering underwriting billions of pounds in loans to cover the cost of companies taking customers from those that go bust. Suppliers that take these customers are expected to charge them the maximum allowed under the energy price cap at £1,277 a year for a typical household.

(39) EU Energy Crisis A Preview of Biden Policy, Critics Say 
by Chris Woodward September 21, 2021 

“Europe’s experience is the product of foolish energy policy,” says Gordon Tomb, senior fellow for Pensylvania-based Commonwealth Foundation. “Germany, for example, moved away from fossil fuels and nuclear in favor of wind and solar and its electricity now costs twice that of France’s nuclear-generated power.

“Reliability and affordability of the electric system has to be paramount, even as we look at how we’re making this energy transition, which our members are fully engaged in,” Todd Snitchler of Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) told InsideSources.

(40) Power mad: Visions of an eco apocalypse have been used to justify a headlong charge to carbon zero for years... but this current crisis is a mere harbinger of the candle-lit future that awaits us if we do not change course, says MATT RIDLEY 
PUBLISHED: 22:34 BST, 20 September 2021 | UPDATED: 09:24 BST, 21 September 2021 

But the root of the crisis lies in the monomaniacal way in which this government and its recent predecessors have pursued decarbonisation at the expense of other priorities including reliability and affordability of energy. 
Yet this crisis is a mere harbinger of the candle-lit future that awaits us if we do not change course. 
Energy is not just another product: it’s what makes civilisation possible.

Related stories: 

(1) Germany: Coal tops wind as primary electricity source 
In the first half of 2021, coal shot up as the biggest contributor to Germany's electric grid, while wind power dropped to its lowest level since 2018. Officials say the weather is partly to blame.
September 13, 2021 

In total, conventional energy sources — including coal, natural gas and nuclear energy — comprised 56% of the total electricity fed into Germany's grid in the first half of 2021.
Coal was the leader out of the conventional energy sources, comprising over 27% of Germany's electricity. 

(2) “Insulate Britain” Climate Activists Blamed for Motorway Crash
Eric Worrall  September 16, 2021 

(3) WATCH: Climate Loons ‘Insulate Britain’ Block off Parts of UK’s Busiest Motorway for Second Time This Week

(4) What climate emergency? Norway’s new socialist government expected to keep drilling for oil and gas 
Date: 15/09/21  Global Warming Policy Forum 

(5) Norway to hold firm on oil, gas, energy transition under new government 
Author  Nick Coleman,  Editor    Richard Rubin 

(6) BP’s Renewable Projects Continue To Post Losses
By Charles Kennedy - Sep 20, 2021, 11:30 AM CDT

Earlier this year, BP sold 20 percent of its 60-percent stake in a gas block in Oman to Thailand’s national oil company for US$2.6 billion as part of its plan to receive US$25 billion in divestment proceeds by 2025.  

(7) World’s Biggest Battery In California Overheats, Shuts Down 
By Daniel Khmelev September 15, 2021 

See also:
Energy 151, Coal at $160/ton, electricity price spikes in Europe, August 07, 2021 
Energy 152, BWorld Insights on RE and Nuclear; Global news on renewed coal, gas demand, August 26, 2021 
Energy 153, High natgas and coal prices, September 10, 2021.

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