Germany’s (and Europe’s) Self-Inflicted Upcoming Energy Crunch
At the end of September 2021, the Nord Stream 2 project was a reality after many years of uncertainty. At that time, there were only a few more regulatory hurdles remaining for Germany and Russia to seal the deal on the long-awaited and highly controversial natural gas pipeline. Achieving such a feat would have been a milestone in energy cooperation between the two countries. Sadly, the regional order has tilted hard and quick off that track, and Europe has plunged into a perilous future of uncertainty.
In the first weeks of the Russian-initiated war in Ukraine, Germany, along with the rest of Europe, found itself backed into a corner regarding its energy sourcing as Western sanctions cut off routes and links in the established regional energy and financial infrastructures. There has been no perceptible success in breaking out of this bind. Instead, Germany has watched time tick by. Russia’s Gazprom recently cut gas flow for Nord Stream 1 to 20 percent of capacity.
German nuclear power plants remain mostly idle, with three facilities providing 13 percent of the country’s electricity compared to France’s 69 percent. Coal power plants have now ramped up output, with the inevitable approach of the fall and winter seasons in the near term.
Reality Sets In
Germany, and indeed the rest of the world, has operated on the expectation that the general uptrend of development and growth experienced in Western countries would continue alongside the increasing global ties that have created a landscape of abundance and increased the overall standard of living. But now the largest economy in Europe finds itself facing a serious precipice as the danger of significant hardship in the near term looms.
Public opinion reflected in a poll from mid-July shows that nearly one in two
Article from Mises Wire