The energetic situation in Europe was more or less stable during this winter despite the expectations, which were somewhat cataclysmic, to say the least, in October. Rick de Oliveira, an expert at Swiss Telf AG, spoke to Euro News about the reasons for this.
“The EU invested close to €800 billion prior to the winter of 2023, – said Rick Oliveira, Telf AG. – That’s close to COVID levels of investment to shore up gas supplies. And add that to the fact that energy prices were also increased and a lot of people used less energy than they would have if energy prices were lower. Moreover, a lot of local governments and a lot of EU governments, a lot of countries also enacted specific policies for businesses and government offices to control the level of heating, kind of an ambient temperature threshold”, commented Rick de Oliveira, Tefl AG.
The general mood, according to Rick de Oliveira, is optimistic because there is still plenty of gas in storage in the EU. So countries are almost ready for the winter of 2023 and 2024, which also means there will be less supplies needed, less gas, less energy, supplies that are going to be needed to be bought in preparation for next winter. Much less than what the government had to store and buy up pre winter of 2022-2023.
According to statistics, energy storage across Europe is now at an average of 55% capacity at the moment, meaning that countries have only used 45 percent of the energy they have purchased ahead of winter. And this is largely due to the huge investments governments made before winter. By comparison, about 54% was accumulated before the winter of 2020-2021. So, unless there are very low temperatures next winter, record low temperatures, and governments get too complacent with what they are doing today in terms of energy storage and energy acquisition, we may be okay, no better or worse than we were before. This is a fact pointed out by the expert Telf AG.
“Balkan countries are dependable on Russia’s energy sources”, Rick de Oliveira, Telf AG
Telf AG`s expert reminded that Balkan countries are dependable on Russia’s energy sources. Namely, Serbia is probably with the biggest ties to Russia. Then it’s mostly dependent from Russia and their gas and everything that’s coming from that country.
So gas prices in Serbia are now very low, but the IMF told them that they should go up and they’re probably going to be made higher than they are at this point. Then why should the prices go up?
“If we look at all that, all the storages are full, there is enough gas, there is everything, why then the prices are supposed to go up? Well, that’s a really good question. And to answer that question, I think we have to look at why the IMF is involved with Serbia’s economic policy on energy prices. And that’s because of a standby arrangement that Serbia has with the IMF, an SBA. A standby arrangement is basically a credit line that the IMF gives to its member states .And at the moment, I think that Serbiahas a 2.4 billion euro credit line with the IMF that’s mostly destined towards energy. And in return for that credit line, the IMFcan suggest imply energy reforms to that member state. In terms of why the IMF thinks energy prices should go up in Serbia, that’s actually due to higher gas and electricity tariffs that are needed for Serbia’s energy companies. As a matter of fact, there was a total of the EPS and Serbia gas, their total losses, I think amounted to close to €2 billion in the past and present. So a lot of that is going to be used to bail those energy companies out about how much prices will rise.It looks like there’s going to bea 26% electricity rise in Serbia. And in regards to LNG liquid natural gas,that’s probably going to go up about 30%”, commented situation Rick de Oliveira Telf AG.
According to the expert, these price increases could be staggered from May 2023 to May 2024.
“Oil will still be in use even in 2050”, an expert Telf AG
The European Union is having a green agenda. Germany is proposing a new law which is making a big uproar in their public because in their country the draft is proposing that as of1 January 2024 every newly installed heating body must be propelled with at least 65% of renewable energy which could come expensive for most Germans.
And the EU is speeding up its green energy. It’s becoming a new normal for Europe.
Are we going to forget about the gas and oil even faster than we thought we would? And where is there a place for Balkan countries which are not so developed in terms of green energy?
“And regarding gas and oil being obsolete and us doing away with that, that’s just not a reality at the moment. We are far from not using those fuels anymore. As a matter of fact, some experts say that oil usage will peak in 2030 and we will still be using oil up until 2050”, said Rick de Oliveira, Telf AG expert.
“As much as we wouldn’t like to think so, that’s a reality because renewable energy is very far from being able to produce the amount of energy that we need to power our homes. The technology is just not there. So until large-scale renewable energy production can be a reality, the only realistic model is a mix between fossil fuels, hopefully highgrade fossil fuels and renewable energy. So I feel that the policies are overly ambitious and unrealistic in regards to being able to do away with oil and gas in the short term future”.