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Tag Archives: Europe

Video: More 3D-printed Steaks Are Coming to Europe

Israel’s Redefine Meat has struck a partnership with importer Giraudi Meats to drive European distribution of its ‘New Meat’ steak cuts produced on 3D printers.

Watch video at You Tube (3:38 minutes) . . . .

Chart: The Most Used Energy Sources in Europe

Source : Statista

Chart: Europe’s Heavy Reliance on Gas

Source : Aljazeera

The Future of European Energy Without Russian Gas in Five Charts

The recent damage to the Nord Stream pipelines is yet another twist in the saga of Europe’s energy crisis. Accusations of sabotage flowing freely between Russia and the West stand in stark contrast to the stunted supply of natural gas.

While neither pipeline is actively transporting gas to the continent, the ruptures add to an increasingly tense stand-off, even within Europe as policymakers mull how precisely to intervene to alleviate the pressures of high gas prices and prepare for a winter without Russian gas.

Here are five charts from BloombergNEF on Europe’s path ahead.

1. No Russia, no problem?

Russia has squeezed its supply of gas to Europe in recent months, with flows via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline having been halted since the end of August. Amid the prospect of the Kremlin turning off the taps completely, Europe is faced with the question of whether it will have enough gas to make it through the upcoming winter.

Contrary to widely held fears of an impending shortage, it looks like the region will be able to withstand a Russian gas cut-off, if – and it’s a big if – elevated prices drive sufficient demand destruction and also enable it to attract a high proportion of spot liquefied natural gas flows.

Under BNEF’s base case, total gas demand in the “Europe Perimeter” – Northwest Europe, Italy and Austria – is forecast to be around 17% lower this winter than the 2016-2020 average, if the weather is in line with the 10-year norm. With this level of demand curtailment and assuming no Russian gas arrives in Western Europe from October 1, storage in the Perimeter would end winter with more than enough breathing room at 37 billion cubic meters, or a healthy 49% full.

Even in a worst-case scenario, in which there is no piped Russian gas and low demand destruction, BNEF estimates Europe would still have enough gas to endure the coldest winter of the last 30 years without depleting its inventories.

Looking further ahead, the region could be well-positioned for winter 2023-24 as well. BNEF’s base case sees the Perimeter almost completely refilling its gas storage next summer to 94% full by November 1 – above the European Union’s 90% target.

On top of reduced demand, this outlook rests on Europe continuing to outcompete Asia to secure adequate spot LNG. While Europe has benefited from buyers in Asia being deterred by high prices, the tussle for cargoes could intensify if Asia sees a colder-than-normal winter or hotter-than-usual summer. Europe is set to become more reliant on the spot LNG market as more than 8 million metric tons worth of contracts expire in 2023, increasing its pull on flexible supply.

2. Demand destruction is key

Demand destruction is essential to Europe making it through the winter without Russian gas. However, there is considerable uncertainty over just how much demand will be eroded – such high and sustained gas prices have never been seen before, and at the same time, policymakers are exploring ways to both curtail demand and shield consumers from high prices.

The projected 17% reduction in gas consumption this winter under BNEF’s base case is slightly higher than the 15% cut targeted by the EU as part of its “Save Gas for a Safe Winter” plan. The drop is mostly attributable to residential and commercial users.

Residential consumers account for approximately 40% of winter gas demand in the Europe Perimeter and small changes to their behavior could have a sizable impact on the region’s gas balance.

“Reducing heating temperatures by 1 degree Celsius could save around 6% of this demand,” says Stefan Ulrich, a European gas analyst at BNEF. “In fact, households could likely turn down their heating by even more given that average EU thermostats are set at more than 22 degrees Celsius, some 3 degrees Celsius above the now-recommended level for public buildings.”

As well as wearing an extra layer or two, reducing the amount of time that heating is switched on during the day and optimizing efficiency could also save significant amounts of energy.

“All in all, reasonable actions taken by households and commercial buildings could reduce total Perimeter gas demand by up to 10%, but possibly even more,” says Ulrich.

3. The long-term plan to ditch Russian gas

Looking beyond the pressures of the upcoming winter, the European Commission has laid out how the bloc can end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels in the longer term in the form of the REPowerEU plan.

Building upon the Fit for 55 package, the new strategy envisages the EU more than halving its gas consumption across this decade and diversifying its supply via biomethane, LNG and other pipeline flows. The aim is to be weaned off Russian gas by 2027.

The ambitious gas-use cuts hinge on scaling wind and solar power, with REPowerEU increasing the bloc’s 2030 target for the share of renewables in the energy mix from 40% to 45%.

This feeds into wider measures to lower the gas consumption of buildings through heat pumps and improved energy efficiency, accelerate the production and deployment of green hydrogen, and delay the phase-out of coal and nuclear power plants.

Germany has already revived 8.8 gigawatts of coal and lignite capacity to reduce the need for gas-fired power generation, and Italy has brought 2.3GW of coal back online. In the short term, the return of coal is expected to boost emissions from Europe’s power sector both this year and the next, which would make three consecutive annual increases.

4. Renewables ramp-up needs more support

The EU Commission estimates that 780 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 510GW of wind power needs to be installed across the region in 2030 to meet the objectives of REPowerEU. However, while renewables build in the EU is expected to grow, spurred on by the energy crisis, BNEF currently forecasts only 343GW of solar and 625GW of wind capacity will be deployed by the end of the decade.

Making up that solar shortfall will require countries to accelerate their plans relative to previously set targets.

“Fortunately, this shouldn’t be too difficult,” says Jenny Chase, head of solar at BNEF. “From January to August 2022, China exported over 60GW of modules to Europe, presumably on orders from buyers. We expect only about 41GW to be actually built this year due to bottlenecks in labor and other components, but the interest is there.”

Chase points out that governments need to “work to debottleneck planning, permitting and grid connection processes to make more large solar projects feasible at suitable sites.”

It’s a similar story for wind. “Long offshore wind development timelines make it difficult to boost capacity quickly, while accelerating onshore build will require streamlined permitting,” says Oliver Metcalfe, head of wind at BNEF. “Governments are looking at ways to speed up these processes, but progress has so far been elusive.”

5. High power prices to linger

As Europe continues to rely on gas to generate electricity, high gas prices have translated to record power prices and the peak may be some way off yet.

Taking Germany as an example, BNEF doesn’t see the average wholesale power price maxing out until 2023 – at €275 per megawatt-hour ($270/MWh), from around €209/MWh in 2022. As well as high gas prices, upward momentum is anticipated from tight coal supply and lower electricity imports due to an ongoing shortfall in hydro and French nuclear output.

The good news is that German power prices are forecast to fall to €70/MWh by the end of the decade thanks to the rapid deployment of wind and solar, and an expected rebalancing of the gas market. The decline is even faster and further when accounting for the country’s new “Easter Package”, which seeks to frontload the build-out of renewables this decade.

Still, in the long term, power prices are projected to rise through to 2050, hitting around €90/MWh, due to the saturation of intermittent renewables, reliance on gas plants for dispatchable capacity, and increased power demand from the electrification of transport and heating.

Source : BloombergNEF

Europe Braces for Mobile Network Blackouts

Mathieu Rosemain, Supantha Mukherjee and Elvira Pollina wrote . . . . . . . . .

Once unthinkable, mobile phones could go dark around Europe this winter if power cuts or energy rationing knocks out parts of the mobile networks across the region.

Russia’s decision to halt gas supplies via Europe’s key supply route in the wake of the Ukraine conflict has increased the chances of power shortages. In France, the situation is made worse by several nuclear power plants shutting down for maintenance.

Telecoms industry officials say they fear a severe winter will put Europe’s telecoms infrastructure to the test, forcing companies and governments to try to mitigate the impact.

Currently there are not enough back-up systems in many European countries to handle widespread power cuts, four telecoms executives said, raising the prospect of mobile phone outages.

European Union countries, including France, Sweden and Germany, are trying to ensure communications can continue even if power cuts end up exhausting back-up batteries installed on the thousands of cellular antennas spread across their territory.

Europe has nearly half a million telecom towers and most of them have battery backups that last around 30 minutes to run the mobile antennas.


In France, a plan put forward by electricity distributor Enedis, includes potential power cuts of up to two hours in a worst case scenario, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The general black-outs would affect only parts of the country on a rotating basis. Essential services such as hospitals, police and government will not be impacted, the sources said.

The French government, telecoms operators and Enedis, a unit of state-controlled utility EDF (EDF.PA), have held talks on the issue over the summer, the French government and the sources said.

The French Federation of Telecoms (FFT), a lobby group representing Orange (ORAN.PA), Bouygues Telecom (BOUY.PA) and Altice’s SFR, put the spotlight on Enedis for being unable to exempt antennas from the power cuts.

Enedis declined to comment on the content of the talks held with the government on the matter.

Enedis said in a statement to Reuters all regular customers were treated on an equal footing in the event of exceptional outages.

It said it was able to isolate sections of the network to supply priority customers, such as hospitals, key industrial installations and the military and that it was up to local authorities to add telecoms operators infrastructure to the list of priority customers.

“Maybe we’ll improve our knowledge on the matter by this winter, but it’s not easy to isolate a mobile antenna (from the rest of the network),” said a French finance ministry official with knowledge of the talks.

A French finance ministry spokesperson declined to comment on the talks with Enedis, the telecoms groups and the government.


Telcos in Sweden and Germany have also raised concerns over potential electricity shortages with their governments, several sources familiar with the matter said.

Swedish telecom regulator PTS is working with telecom operators and other government agencies to find solutions, it said. That includes talks about what will happen if electricity is rationed.

PTS is financing the purchase of transportable fuel stations and mobile base stations that connect to mobile phones to handle longer power outages, a PTS spokesperson said.

The Italian telecoms lobby told Reuters it wants the mobile network to be excluded from any power cut or energy saving stoppage and will raise this with Italy’s new government.

The power outages increase the probability of electronic components failing if subjected to abrupt interruptions, telecoms lobby chief Massimo Sarmi said in an interview.


Telecom gear makers Nokia and Ericsson are working with mobile operators to mitigate the impact of a power shortage, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Both companies declined to comment.

The European telecom operators must review their networks to reduce extra power usage and modernise their equipment by using more power efficient radio designs, the four telecom executives said.

To save power, telecom companies are using software to optimise traffic flow, make towers “sleep” when not in use and switch off different spectrum bands, the sources familiar with the matter said.

The telecom operators are also working with national governments to check if plans are in place to maintain critical services.

In Germany, Deutsche Telekom has 33,000 mobile radio sites (towers) and its mobile emergency power systems can only support a small number of them at the same time, a company spokesperson said.

Deutsche Telekom will use mobile emergency power systems which mainly rely on diesel in the event of prolonged power failures, it said.

France has about 62,000 mobile towers, and the industry will not be able to equip all antennas with new batteries, the FFT’s president Liza Bellulo said.

Accustomed to uninterrupted power supply for decades, European countries usually do not have generators backing up power for longer durations.

“We are a bit spoiled maybe in large parts of Europe where electricity is pretty stable and good,” a telecom industry executive said. “The investments in the energy storage area have maybe been less than in some other countries.”

Source : Reuters

Chart: How Much Sway Does the Far-Right Have in European Union?

Source : Statista

Chart: Europe Is Facing a Dementia Problem

Source : Statista

Chart: Where’s the Best Internet in Europe

Source : Statista

Chart: European Equities Are Testing a Long-term Technical Level

The benchmark has broken below the key 400 points level

Source : Bloomberg

Is the U.S. Sacrificing Europe to Maintain Global Dominance?

Martin Armstrong wrote . . . . . . . . .

Vladimir Putin believes that Washington is sacrificing Europe to maintain global dominance. The United States has always been the world police, and the top country that others turn to in times of crisis. America’s post-World War II status left it as the financial capital of the world, and the dollar has remained the world’s reserve currency. Nothing has topped the dollar.

Europe attempted to create the European Union in an effort to prevent European conflicts, but it also created the euro to compete against the dollar. I explained various times how their attempts have failed. However, the euro is now beneath the dollar and on the decline. Nations maintain diplomatic relations, but only Schwab wants a one-world government as everyone is competing for global dominance.

Putin claims that the West rushed to place sanctions on Russia. There was indeed a rush to place sanctions on Russia despite Joe Biden himself coming out and admitting sanctions never work. Peace talks were never an option. Returning land or promising to curtail NATO was never an option. Sanctions and threats were immediately imposed. Why?

“The pandemic has been replaced by new challenges of a global nature, carrying a threat to the whole world, I’m talking about the sanctions rush in the West and the West’s blatantly aggressive attempts to impose their modus vivendi on other countries, to take away their sovereignty, to submit them to their will,” Putin told delegates at Russia’s Eastern Economic Forum in the port city of Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast, as reported by CNBC.

It is true that Europe is facing the brunt of these sanctions as they sacrificed their main supplier of energy to save a nation with a GDP of roughly only $200 billion. Europe did not want to allow Ukraine to join the euro, and they had no interest in the country prior to this conflict. The hatred for Russia runs deep in Europe, especially in Germany after Russia took hold of the east after the last World War. The politicians are certainly old enough to remember when Germany was split in two until 1989. There is a reason Russia’s integral support for the axis powers during World War II is diminished in Western history books.

Putin went on to say that the standard of living in Europe and overall social and economic stability was “being thrown onto the fire of sanctions.” The United States has been eager to sanction Russia since the war in Syria began. Obama tried but failed to kick Russia out of the SWIFT system in 2014, with Christine Lagarde offering her support. Zelensky, who rand the NYSE bell this week remotely, admitted that he needed America to place harsh sanctions on Russia to accelerate the war.

“So far, I think that the United States of America is the accelerator of the sanction policies and I think they do more than any other country. And this is the way it should be because they are the most powerful country right now. I see the same support with respect to sanctions from the United Kingdom,” Zelensky told reporters at Fox in May.

The dollar remains strong and is the last safe haven. The war in Ukraine has only promoted capital to rush into the dollar. So is Europe “being sacrificed in the name of preserving the US dictatorship in global affairs,” as Putin claims? Europe will suffer more than the United States due to these sanctions. In fact, had Biden not eliminated domestic oil production, the US would not be facing an energy crisis at all. One thing is clear – the support to Ukraine is not an act of kindness. The invisible hand is at play.

Source : Armstrong Economics