On Friday both Germany and France set records for high electricity prices, as Western sanctions continue to batter European countries economies, Meanwhile, Russia remains relatively unscathed, as the higher energy prices more than compensate for any discounts it needs to offer on its fuel to attract buyers for its products.
The average cost of electricity a year ago in both France and Germany was roughly €85 per megawatt-hour (MWh). On Friday, the costs had risen to €850 in Germany and over €1,000 in France due to how the two nations were hard hit by Russian restrictions on gas flows, limiting the supplies to electricity-generation plants.
In Germany’s case particularly, it is now being hard hit after years spent pursuing unreliable green energy schemes, as it shut down its nuclear plants and shuttered coal-fired generation stations.
France has been less impacted, due to it not abandoning nuclear energy, however it has still endured some blow to its energy prices, due to maintenance issues with its nuclear power stations. At present, only 24 of 56 nuclear power plants owned by the government’s Électricité de France (EDF) electricity company are operational, as issues with corrosion plague its facilities.
Energy prices appear set to rise even higher, as futures traders are already trading electricity at 1,600 euros per megawatt-hour for December. This has produced some predictions of coming unrest as the public finds itself facing impossible to manage energy bills, on top of rising inflation, which itself will be growing worse as the energy bills rise.
French President Emmanuel Macron called the situation the “end of abundance,” and predicted a “Great upheaval” where citizens “may react with great anxiety.”
Meanwhile, in Germany, the Interior Minister for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Herbert Reul, tried to cast critics as criminals pre-emptively, noting that potential critics would be viewed as the new, “enemies of the state.“
The President of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Stephen Kramer says that the coming riots in response to gas shortages will make anti-lockdown protests look like a, “children’s birthday party.“
Against this backdrop, the current President of the European Union, Petr Fiala, also the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, called an emergency meeting of the bloc to make further plans for confronting the coming shortages as winter approaches.
The Daily Financial Trends