European families are being told to prepare for a looming cold and dark winter amid warnings of “unprecedented” energy shortages and power failures.
Energy industry experts say the global energy crisis brings a foreseeable future that will be colder and darker.
“There is an increased risk of a lack of power this winter,” Klaus Winther, deputy director at Energinet, the Danish national transmission system operator for electricity and natural gas, told TV2.
Winther says the crisis will herald a new era of energy consumption.
Governments will be forcing households to ration their energy use to prevent blackouts.
A “perfect storm” of soaring prices, a hot dry summer, and a collapse in the confidence in energy security mean power grid failures are now a real possibility.
“The production of electricity cannot keep up with the demand, and this increases the probability of a power failure,” said Winther.
Although insisting that “power cuts are the absolutely last tool we have in the drawer,” Winther warned that individual distribution companies may be forced to shut off electricity supplies for hours at a time to avoid longer blackouts.
Meanwhile, Brian Vad Mathiesen, professor of energy planning at Aalborg University, said Danes may have to adopt a 1970’s oil crisis-style mentality and get used to living in colder and darker houses.
“We must create energy-saving campaigns on a scale we cannot imagine, and everyone must take responsibility,” he said.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Sweden, the prospect of sustained power outages has been increased from “low” to “real,” with the more populated areas most at risk.
“This winter, at its coldest, there is a real risk that we will have to interrupt electricity consumption in parts of southern Sweden,” strategic operations manager for Swedish power grid operator Svenska Kraftnät, Erik Ek, said in a press release.
The news comes as Russia announced on Friday that its key Gazprom gas pipeline to Europe can’t reopen as planned.
Russia’s Gazprom PJSC claims the pipeline can’t reopen on Saturday as a new technical issue has been discovered.
It’s a massive blow to Europe, which is scrambling to fill up its gas storage ahead of winter.
European nations have been trying to guess Moscow’s next steps in the energy war for weeks.
Gazprom has given no indication of how long the pipeline will remain shut.
It marks a dramatic escalation in Europe’s energy crisis — and comes just as prices were easing.
If the shutdown persists, it puts households, factories, and economies at further risk.
The move additionally weakens Europe’s hand as it backs Ukraine in the war against Russia.