Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse for Europe’s energy crisis, along comes a sudden cold snap that sent electricity prices in France to the highest in 13 years, just as almost half of the country’s nuclear reactors are down.
The vulnerability of Europe’s energy supplies became very apparent this week, after a sharp drop in temperatures sent French power prices to an astonishing 3,000 euros per megawatt-hour, prompting the country’s electricity grid operator RTE to urge consumers and businesses to curb their energy usage. The latest jump in prices comes as 25 of France’s 56 nuclear reactors remain offline, and Europe’s natural gas supplies from Russia sink to alarmingly low levels.
France, along with nearly all other countries in the European Union, continue to face an ongoing energy crisis that began late last summer when natural gas reserves failed to increase to sustainable levels ahead of the winter season. The problem became more exasperated after Russia invaded Ukraine, as EU bureaucrats imposed sanctions on natural gas and oil flows into Europe despite lacking viable energy alternatives.
However, issues with Europe’s significant dependence on energy imports go far beyond the crisis in Ukraine. As Germany evidently learned, depending on renewable energy such as solar and wind are successful in circumventing Russian natural gas shipments only when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing…
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