Catavento publishes its fifth factsheet analysing the critical aspects behind the European energy crisis in 2021. The document seeks to elucidate how different supply and demand factors, specially related to natural gas, influenced energy prices in the continent.
Among the main messages, we can highlight that:
1. Gas represents approximately 20% of Europe’s power generation mix. However, it was the main cause for the rapid rise in electricity prices – 4 times as high as the 2015 – 2020 average in Q421;
2. The steep rise in electricity prices was driven by a combination of demand and supply factors. On the demand side, Europe experienced a 4% growth compared to 2019, led by industrial sector recovery and a colder than expected winter;
3. At the same time, lower than expected LNG inflow caused by outages and delays and reduced Russian pipeline imports resulted in a tight gas market;
4. In addition, lower than average inventory levels created security concerns. The inventory was around 50% full as early January, compared with an average of nearly 70% over the past five years;
5. In this context, coal-fired generation returned (+11% vs. 2020) as natural gas prices jumped. The increased carbon price in Europe prevented widespread fuel switching.
The Factsheet is available for download by clicking here or on the image below (available in English only).
Photo: Alain Duchateau via Unsplash