The price for natural gas in Europe has risen further, as Russia still restricts the export of the fuel and the hot weather requires a lot for cooling. A megawatt hour of gas at the close of trading on the Amsterdam stock exchange 241 euros. The price is therefore 7 percent higher than the day before and is the highest closing price ever. The current price is eleven times higher than what is normal for the time of year.
Russia no longer supplies any gas at all to European countries, such as the Netherlands, Finland, Bulgaria and Poland. Other countries, including major consumer Germany, have to make do with much less Russian gas than usual. While Russia cites technical reasons, Germans say it’s about watering down a war in Ukraine.
The energy crisis is not made difficult by the low water levels in the Rhine. Inland vessels can carry less cargo, which is important for the transport of resources from the ports of Antwerp or Rotterdam to the European hinterland. The water level of the Rhine would rise somewhat in the following days due to the rain. That could offer some relief.
On March 7, the price for gas on the Amsterdam stock exchange already briefly rose to a historic peak of 345 euros per kilowatt hour, but the price dropped to 227 euros on the same day at the close of trading.
Member States of the European Union aim to have their gas storage at least 80 percent filled before the winter starts. If Russia still keeps the gas supply limited or even cuts it further, countries will have to use that stock quickly.
The head of the German energy supply regulator, Klaus Müller, therefore warned in an interview with t-online about persistently high gas prices. The reserves must then be replenished. “It’s important that everything in the whole: it’s not just one winter, but at least two,” he told the news website. “Next winter may be even more difficult.”