In light of Russia’s energy crisis, Europe’s efforts to save gas inventories should benefit from an exceptionally warm month of October.
For instance, forecaster Maxar, as cited by Bloomberg, predicts that on October 27, the temperature in Paris will reach a summery 25 Celsius. At this time of year, when Europe typically anticipates to be well into its hot season, other major cities, including London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Lyon and Madrid, are also forecast to be significantly warmer than average.
Weather weakens Russia’s economic war effort
Russia’s economic war effort will be weakened the longer Europe can escape winter weather and the advent of high fuel usage as Europeans heat their homes.
Russian president Putin seems to be determined to make heating energy shortages among the costs of the EU sanctions and weapon-driven resistance to his war in Ukraine. Russian supplies of gas and power to Europe have decreased. Meanwhile, several European countries are seeing lower-than-average nuclear output, which affects France’s nuclear industry.
Unusually warm autumn temperatures have helped Europe accumulate substantial winter gas storage levels. According to IntelliNews on October 20, the Europeans have succeeded in filling their gas storage facilities to over 95% of capacity.
Widespread warmer-than-normal temperatures expected
In a report, Maxar stated that “widespread warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected for the continent.” It stated that temperatures ranged from far above average to severely above.
France will continue to see warmer-than-average temperatures through December, according to a forecast made earlier this month by Meteo France. Additionally, according to Copernicus Climate Change Service experts, temperatures in Europe would likely be much higher than average between December and February, when the country’s heating season is at its peak. So, France and the entire Europe will need less gas than usual.
For the period of October 29 to November 2, Maxar predicts a total of 27.4 heating-degree days, significantly fewer than the 10 year average of 44.1 days. Energy demand is measured by the indicator. Lower numbers represent smaller cold and decreased heating fuel consumption.
Russian gas exports to Europe dropped to 20% vs 2021
By the middle of October, this year’s Russian gas exports to Europe were just 20% as high as in 2021.
Noting how a cold winter would increase the need for heating, a low-precipitation winter would result in low hydroelectric power generation, and a still winter would result in lower wind power output is crucial in the fight to balance energy supply and demand during the winter.
The potential for increased Russian natural gas exports to Europe is relatively small because at least three of the four pipeline strings – Nord Stream 1 and 2 – will likely be out of service for months, if not years due to alleged sabotage.
Russian gas may experience further negative effects. Moscow could stop all shipments to Europe in order to increase geopolitical pressure. Or a new disagreement over transit payments between Russia and Ukraine might escalate.
The only remaining channels for Russian gas are the Ukrainian transit system and the smaller TurkStream, with Nord Stream offline and the Yamal-Europe pipeline made inoperable by sanctions. Less than 10% of the gas that Europe received from Russia last year would remain in the continent if TurkStream were to remain open, which is plausible.