Countries around the world are feeling the weight of the global energy crisis.
Some Chinese provinces are rationing electricity, Europeans are paying exorbitant prices for liquefied gas, and Lebanon has run out of electricity.
In addition, India is about to run out of coal, and in the United States, the price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $ 3.25 on Friday, up from $ 1.27 in April.
As the global economy works to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, the sudden energy crisis puts pressure on supply chains and causes geopolitical tensions.
In addition, as world leaders prepare to meet for the Cop26 benchmark in hopes of taking steps to facilitate climate change, questions are now being raised about the likelihood of a global green energy revolution.
The crisis has been attributed to a perfect storm of factors, mainly to the economic recovery from the pandemic that came after countries spent less on fossil fuel extraction over the past 18 months.
They have also contributed to an unusually cold winter in Europe that drained the continent’s energy reserves, a series of hurricanes that shut down Gulf oil refineries, a worsening of Sino-Australian relations and less wind over the North Sea. .
“It radiates from one energy market to another,” said Daniel Yergin, author of The new map: energy, climate and the shock of nations, he told the Washington Post.
“Governments are struggling to get subsidies to avoid a huge political backlash,” he said.
“There’s widespread anxiety about what may or may not happen this winter, due to something we have no control over, which is the weather.”
Ahead of the Cop26 summit in Glasgow later this month, proponents of renewable energy argue that the crisis demonstrates the need to move away from fossil fuels.
His critics have argued that he shows the opposite, saying wind and solar do not meet demand. Analysts are also concerned that scarcity and high prices are hurting the economic recovery.
But while countries are fighting, Vladimir Putin is taking advantage of the crisis. Earlier this week, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) called on Russia’s strong president to help ease the crisis by freeing up more exports to Europe.
Putin has been accused of deliberately withholding gas supplies as leverage with the EU, which wants to sign its new £ 8.1 billion Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, run by state-owned Gazprom, which bypasses Ukraine. .
However, many oppose the pipeline. Russia is already the second largest gas supplier in the EU behind Norway, and Nord Stream 2 will increase Europe’s energy dependence on the geopolitical influence of Russia and Moscow.
On Wednesday, Putin suggested that Russia’s European customers could resolve the crisis on the mainland plus Russian gas.
Tensions are also rising in the EU, with leaders disagreeing on how to respond to the crisis.
Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, who is a friend of Putin, said on Wednesday that the EU was partly to blame for price increases, and said the bloc “must change its policy”.
On the same day, EU leader Frans Timmermans said those who blamed the bloc’s Green Deal only do so for “ideological reasons” and that a transition out of fossil fuels will help end the price crisis.
“The wrong answer to this would be to slow down the transition to renewable energy,” Timmermans said. “The right answer is to keep the momentum going and maybe even look for ways to increase the momentum.”
But energy analysts have suggested that Europe moved too quickly to use fossil fuels for energy before making sure there were enough renewable sources.
Now, as winter approaches, European fuel stocks are relatively low.
Meanwhile, in Lebanon there is no centrally generated electricity after the shutdown of the country’s two largest power plants due to fuel shortages, which plunged six million people into darkness.
Production stopped at the Zahrani power plant today hours after the Deir Ammar plant shut down yesterday when the diesel supply was depleted.
A government official confirmed that the country’s electricity grid “stopped working completely at noon today” and warned that production is unlikely to resume “until next Monday or for several days”.
The official said the state-owned power company would try to use the army’s fuel reserve to temporarily operate the plants, but that would not happen soon.
Lebanon has been in chaos for years after the government resigned after the major accidental gas explosion in Beirut in 2020.
The shortage is likely to be the result of mismanagement after months of power disputes between different factions in the country.
But it faces a context of global energy shortages and fears of global fuel shortages after India warned that its coal-fired power plants could darken in just three days and that the power outages would affect China. … trim …
Meanwhile, China is battling its worst power crisis in a decade with the country low on energy, cities have been hit by blackouts and factories have to close or open just a couple of hours a week.
The crisis, which began to erupt a fortnight ago, was caused by the cost of the coal rise, as the economy opened up after Covid, meaning power plants were running at a loss and were start to close.
Power outages have been reported in southern Guangdong Province, but are more severe in manufacturing centers in northeastern Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning.
Reporters in China had reportedly let their premises be lit with candles amid a recent three-day blackout that also toppled mobile networks.
An additional 16 provinces are believed to be rationing energy due to supply shortages, although they have avoided large-scale blackouts.
In response, Shanxi, China’s largest coal-producing region, has ordered its 98 coal mines to increase its annual production capacity by 55.3 million tons.
Shanxi will also allow them to continue producing about 51 coal mines that had reached maximum annual production levels.
In China’s No. 2 coal region, Inner Mongolia, 72 mines were said to be able to operate at higher capacities immediately, as long as they guarantee safe production.
Fuel shortages are also affecting Europe amid rising energy demand around the world as the world economy recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
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