The International Energy Agency, the world’s champion of the transition to renewable energy, has sounded the alarm bell over Europe’s gas supplies for 2023, and has issued a warning for EU leadership, the FT reported on Thursday.
IEA head Fatih Birol has issued a warning to the EU leadership to avoid letting their guard down with recently falling gas prices, prompting them to instead move quickly to ensure supplies for not this coming winter, but next.
Europe has managed to fill its storage in preparation for this coming winter to 95%, the IEA said, but the IEA’s forecast still shows that next year will be problematic, with a shortfall of 30 billion cubic meters seen by next summer.
“The fact that this winter may not be as challenging as we feared a couple of months ago does not justify complacency for next winter,” he said.
The difference between this winter and next winter, is, of course, the fact that this year, the EU had access to Russian gas for the better part of the year. Next year, most analysts are expected Russian gas exports to Europe at near zero, starting at the beginning of the year.
This will make it much more difficult for Europe to stockpile gas ahead of Winter 2023/2024.
Also next year, the IEA is warning that Europe could see more challenges with securing sufficient LNG next year—the EU’s replacement for Russian gas.
The IEA is asking EU leadership to hasten investments in energy conservation, renewables, and home insulation, as well as switching to heat pumps to cut back on demand for natural gas.
European natural gas prices have eased with the combination of the EU successfully securing enough gas to essentially fill their winter storage and mild weather delaying the start of winter.
Birol also warned that Europe may not make it through this winter entirely free from pain, with gas shortages still possible in certain locations.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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