By Josh Owens
The Czech Republic, which holds the rotating Presidency of the European Union, will convene an urgent meeting of the energy ministers of the bloc to discuss specific emergency measures to address the energy situation, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Friday, as the energy crisis in the EU is worsening with prices rallying to new records.
Jozef Síkela, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, also tweeted on Friday, “We are in an energy war with Russia and it is damaging the whole EU. In agreement with the European Commission and Prime Minister Fiala, I will propose to convene an extraordinary meeting of the EU Energy Council at the earliest possible date.”
The energy ministers of the EU have a regular meeting scheduled for October, but considering the soaring gas and power prices, the rotating president of the EU, the Czech Republic, wants now to convene a summit as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, year-ahead electricity prices in France, Germany, and the Nordic countries jumped on Friday to fresh records as natural gas supply from Russia continues to be limited ahead of the winter.
Soaring energy prices are fueling inflation and adding a lot of burden on households and industries across Europe.
In France, year-ahead power prices surged as much as 13% on Friday alone, to $1,003 (1,000 euro) per megawatt-hour for the first time ever. In Germany, year-ahead electricity prices also hit a record of $843 (840 euro) per MWh on Friday, surging by 50% this week alone.
Energy prices in Europe have been smashing records all this week after Russia’s Gazprom said on Friday that it would halt all deliveries via Nord Stream to Germany for three days between August 31 and September 2. This announcement raised renewed concerns that supply via the pipeline could be further cut or halted altogether after the three-day unplanned maintenance at the end of August.
Also in Europe, although outside the EU, EDF, the French utility that also has business in the UK, warned earlier this week that as many as half of British households may be facing fuel poverty because of the inexorable rise in energy prices.
By Josh Owens for Oilprice.com