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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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Europe Faces Stress Test As Arctic Blast Drives Surge In Power Demand

  • The Nordic countries, the UK, and Germany will all see below-average temperatures for this time of the year over the next two weeks.
  • After a warm autumn with high temperatures, the cold snap over the next two weeks will put European energy systems to the test.
  • Low wind speeds led to soaring power prices in the EU last week.

Most European energy systems will be put to their toughest test yet this winter as an Arctic blast with freezing temperatures is set to drive a surge in power and heating demand over the next two weeks.

The Nordic countries, the UK, and Germany will all see below-average temperatures for this time of the year over the next two weeks, with temperatures in Oslo, Norway’s capital, expected to sink to as low as -9.5C (14.9 F) early next week, according to a weather forecast by Maxar Technologies quoted by Bloomberg.

In the UK, the Met Office warned on Monday that it had issued a number of weather warnings “as an arctic maritime airmass brings cold weather to the UK with a risk of wintry showers and snow.”

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“Although there are some uncertainties around how long this cold spell will last it is expected to stay cold into next week with temperatures remaining well below average for the time of year,” the Met Office said.

After a warm autumn with high temperatures, the cold snap over the next two weeks is set to be the first real test for many European countries in their efforts to conserve energy.

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At the start of the first cold wave last week, Europe’s power prices soared as the low wind speeds prevented wind turbines from generating power.

But wind generation jumped at the start of this week, pushing European prompt power prices lower early on Tuesday and easing some of the strain on the energy systems. Germany’s wind power generation has started to rebound, and so has the wind power supply in the UK. On Sunday, December 4, wind generated 36.1% of British electricity, followed by gas at 29.2% and nuclear at 15.4%, National Grid ESO said on Monday.

European power prices, however, are expected to remain high through at least the next two due to the cold snap.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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