Russia’s state-owned gas company, Gazprom, reported that domestic gas storage is nearly full, in stark contrast to the rest of Europe, where countries are scrambling to stock up on energy before winter arrives.
On August 24, Russia’s state-owned energy producer told Reuters that storage was 91.4% full.
The conflict in Ukraine, precipitated by Russia’s aggression, has disrupted energy supplies throughout the European Union, causing a crisis in many member countries.
According to Energy Monitor, while Europe’s gas storage sites are at 67% of their maximum capacity, this is still insufficient to ensure adequate supply in the event of a complete shutdown of Russian energy imports.
Russia recently threatened European supply by abruptly shutting down gas flow through the critical Nord Stream 1 pipeline for three days. The main pipeline had already reached 20% of its capacity.
As a result, many European countries have developed contingency plans that include planned power outages, rationing, and even turning to carbon-intensive fossil fuels like coal to keep the lights on.
Due to a lack of gas supplies, France temporarily waived an environmental rule to allow nuclear power plants to continue operating, while Germany restarted a dormant coal-fired power plant.
The Netherlands, like many other countries, is reliant on Russian gas imports via Gazprom and has been unable to find a suitable replacement supply.
The EU’s sanctions against Russia include a prohibition on doing business with Russian state-owned companies, but according to Reuters, the Dutch city of Hague will seek a temporary exemption from the prohibition.
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