European gas exchange prices on Tuesday, 14 September, for the first time in history exceeded 810 dollars per thousand cubic meters, showing fantastic growth. Just two weeks ago, 30 August, the previous record was set - 600 dollars. It turns out, gas prices are going up, growing by one hundred dollars per week. This is a huge success for the Russian economy.
At the same time, the cost of electricity in the European Union is growing. And, not only because of gas. In addition to rising energy prices, Europeans were let down by nature: the wind speed has decreased for a long time and a significant part of the wind turbines has "stopped". And so, electricity futures are already nearly 60 euro per MWh.
The result of all this could be a full-fledged energy crisis in the European Union., and already in the coming winter. However, few people believe that, that it will be long term. There are several reasons for the current surge in energy and energy prices in the EU. At first, weather: this lack of wind, and before that cold winter, which quickly passed over most of the European Union into a very hot summer. In Sicily, eg, in August they planned to 50 degrees Celsius.
Another reason, in addition to the "weather" growth in demand, multiplied by the reduction in electricity generation, - the policy of the Russian "Gazprom" in the European market. Russian company, According to various estimates, controls about 30% of the total gas consumption by Europeans. And if earlier, with the growth of demand, Gazprom was happy to sell the extra cubic meters to the EU, to the 2021 year everything changed. The company suddenly almost stopped pumping gas into its European storage facilities and buying out free additional capacity for pumping it from transit countries, Firstly, Ukraine.
In Russia, all this is attributed to coincidences and technical difficulties.. In the EU, but, many people think, that this is gas blackmail, the purpose of which is to force the Europeans to agree to the earliest possible launch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline on Russian terms. It would seem, the court on this issue was lost by Gazprom and its European partners. So that, in theory, the pipeline must operate according to the rules common to all European companies, which require, eg, reserve part of the pipe's capacity for independent manufacturers (despite, that there are practically none in Russia), and also entrust the final sale of gas to an independent company. But in Moscow, probably, thought, that you can try to avoid it.
Nevertheless, even Vladimir Putin, who got a good opportunity to taunt the Europeans, talking about the "smart guys from the European Commission", who "came up with market pricing", understands, that all this is not for long. maybe, we see the situation for the last time, when Russia benefits from a sudden surge in energy prices. In the future, the demand for them in the European Union will still decline. In particular, not later than 2045 of the year, its main consumer in the EU, Germany, will no longer need Russian gas. Anyway, so says the outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The European Union is preparing to make a radical "energy transition". Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who just won the election, is already discussing with the Greens the possibility of his country's complete abandonment of oil and gas production in the coming years.. While, that Norway, like Russia, it is one of the main suppliers of energy resources to European consumers. Oslo even refused to join the EU specifically for that, to make more money on the sale of oil and gas.
China, in its turn, produced a record number of cars last year, working on "alternative" fuel. Germany plans to completely abandon the production of vehicles with gasoline and diesel engines in the next decade.. Production will be gradually redesigned, extra businesses are closed. For the Germans, who have experienced a labor shortage in recent years, it's not so much the risk of rising unemployment, how much is the solution to one of the economic problems.
properly, not only Germany, but also all major European carmaking countries (Besides, except that, Czech Republic) have already announced plans for the next 10-15 years to completely abandon the production of "environmentally friendly" engines.
They want to get away from the use of coal in the power industry. The stake is on electricity, it's desirable, from sustainable sources. I.e, renewable. It's not even a nuclear power plant or a hydroelectric power plant - only wind energy, sun and, of course, hydrogen.
It is hydrogen, looks like, should become "new oil", and, of course, gas. for example, Ukraine, which fears to lose payment for the transit of Russian gas after the launch of Nord Stream 2, Europeans have already offered to become one of the hydrogen exporters to the EU. It is assumed, that on Ukrainian territory before 2030 year will be built before 10 gigawatt of capacity for the production of "green" (that is, environmentally friendly) hydrogen.
Hopes to join the "hydrogen economy" and Russia. Just in August, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a concept for its development in the Russian Federation.. It is planned to sell a new type of fuel, of course, EU. Likely, through existing pipelines, up to 50 million tonnes per year.
In this way, between Ukraine and Russia begins a new (although still more virtual) competition for the European hydrogen market. This means, a new field for conflicts arises, down to, as the recent past has already shown, before the armed.
This is the first negative for these two states result of the "new energy policy" of the European Union.. The second is, that the unnecessary part of the "oil and gas" infrastructure will need to be abandoned or dismantled. For Ukraine it, least, means the elimination of a significant part of the remnants of the Soviet gas transmission system. A little - but sensitive.
In Russia, the whole world of oil and gas workers is under threat, separate subculture of the "north", cities around the fields, of people, accustomed to higher, than on the "mainland", income level. Generally, quite possible, after a while history from the 1990s will repeat itself, when impoverished miners knocked on their helmets at the Gorbaty Bridge near the Government House in Moscow. Retrain all these people, adding to the production of hydrogen, obviously won't work. what, obviously, fraught with social explosion.
Respectively, Russian budget revenues will inevitably and radically drop. The consequence of this will be a decrease in the general standard of living of the population of the Russian Federation., which is not too high anyway.
Finally, the last major problem is ecology. Besides the abandoned, but still a dangerous oil and gas infrastructure, will have to take into account the risks of the new industry "for hydrogen". In the EU, he, perhaps, and will be "green", but not at all a fact, which will also in reality be in the post-Soviet countries. With a high probability, Europeans will turn a blind eye to that, that it's not their nature that suffers, and Russian or Ukrainian.
I would like to, of course, so that the current short-term windfall profits from the sale of energy resources are used by the Russian authorities to solve the problems of the future. Not only creating an infrastructure for the production and transportation of hydrogen in the EU, but also settling monotowns, developing new technologies for conservation of deposits, creating new jobs and so on.
Otherwise, just in time for 2042 year, which is narrated by the famous dystopia of Vladimir Voinovich, may be, that citizens, to get food stamps, must hand over the "secondary product" for its transportation West.