Europe’s energy crisis worsened this week when Kosovo introduced gradual blackouts for most of its two million citizens, according to Bloomberg.
Kosovo’s Power Distribution Services (KEDS) on Thursday reported two-hour power outages for 2 million people due to an “overload” of its power grid.
KEDS asked customers to reduce power given “insufficient internal production to cover consumption and the global energy crisis”.
The Balkan country, the poorest country in Europe, experienced a technical glitch in its largest coal-fired power plant which had to shut down last month, forcing the government to import electricity at low prices. students.
Simultaneously, Serbia was forced to cut off electricity to its customers, the UK grid operator issued a power supply warning, and the outage of France’s nuclear power plant resulted in a perfect storm of roughing up strain on the mainland grid, resulting in reduced power supply and exorbitant prices.
No surprises in Kosovo’s announcement today of two-hour blackouts for most consumers. It was very clear three months ago that the real crisis was in Eastern Europe, and in particular in the Balkans. The EU was sleeping. Or didn’t care. | #EuropeanEnergyCrisis https://t.co/xFMVE4zxwc
– Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) 23 December 2021
Last week, Kosovo’s Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli said the shutdown of the country’s main coal-fired power plant had exacerbated the energy crisis. He said imports of electricity were “extremely expensive”.
Data from the Entso-E grid shows that electricity imports from Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia fell from 750 megawatts on Wednesday to around 469 megawatts on Thursday.
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Jeremy Weir, CEO of commodities trader Trafigura Group, has warned that more European countries could face power outages in the event of a harsh winter.
Eleven European associations (from the steel industry to fertilizers, including cement and paper mills) posted a memo Thursday, indicating that energy-hungry companies are paying “unbearably high energy prices” that could force them to shut down operations.
However, there is good news for the continent, as the first month’s Dutch benchmark gas has plunged 43%, from a peak of 180 euros per megawatt hour to around 102 euros in the last few days as a flotilla US liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers are heading to the continent in need of fuel.
Another good news is that the weather forecast for Germany will become more favorable. This will help keep a lid on gas prices.
Europe remains caught in its worst energy crisis as some relief is on the way, but the worst may not be over as the northern hemisphere winter has just started.
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