Green Europe May Be On The Verge Of Blackouts

  • Date: 16/05/18
  • Bloomberg

Europe is facing power generation capacity shortages and may even risk blackouts without additional use of natural gas, one of the continent’s biggest producers of the fuel said.

“A severe shortage” in generation capacity is expected in the U.K., Germany, and Belgium, Tor Martin Anfinnsen, senior vice president for marketing and trading at Statoil ASA, said in an interview at a conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday. Those countries are phasing out or cutting coal-generation fleet and Germany and Belgium are also turning away from nuclear power.

“If you have a dangerous bend in the road and everyone knows there is a dangerous bend but nothing is done with it unless there is an accident in the road,” Anfinnsen said. “Is that what we will see in Europe in power generation as well? Will we have to see blackouts before you see a change in policies? That remains to be seen but we are getting dangerously close in many markets.”

Reduced capacity reserve means higher use of gas to produce electricity, also supported by higher carbon prices that discourage dirtier-burning fuels.

“It is very difficult to see that there is any other way of fixing that up to 2030 by other means than increasing gas-fired power generation,” Anfinnsen said. “Not only through higher utilization of existing capacity but also adding new gas-based generation.”

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see also: Europe grapples with Dutch gas production ‘collapse’

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