Projected warm winter in Europe could mean gas savings but also curb wind power
Meteorological institutes forecast mild weather in their new winter prognostics for Europe, concluding that less heating gas could be used but also that wind power production might decline as a result, business daily Handelsblatt Online reports. Using long-range forecasting tools to predict temperatures and wind strength over winter, meteorologist at the EU Copernicus Climate Change Services found that this winter might be milder than in previous years, which could have mixed effects on gas storage and thus energy supply security, according to the newspaper. Energy and meteorology expert Klaas Dozeman of analyst firm Brainchild Commodity Intelligence said that “a quiet first half of the winter would greatly boost gas-fired power generation," as gas power plants would need to be fired to generate electricity to make up for the unavailability of wind power.
However, the projected warmer winter could be favourable for European gas storages, according to energy analyst estimates from the US bank JP Morgan, Handelsblatt reports. Should Russian gas continue to reach Europe through Ukraine, analysts expect storage facilities to be 35 percent full in March in case of normal winter weather and 15 percent full in case of a cold winter. Should the supply stop completely, fill levels could drop to one percent. “A cold winter or further problems on the supply side could lead to mandatory curtailments of gas consumption in Europe - especially in Germany,” JP-Morgan-Analyst Vincent Ayral said.
Germany reached its target of filling gas storages to 95 percent of capacity two weeks ahead of its 1 November deadline. Energy supply security has been put into question following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as a result of which gas imports into Germany were reduced earlier this year and then completely cut in September. The gas shortage has led to soaring energy prices and poses a financial burden on businesses and citizens alike.