Putin’s grip on energy makes Europe increasingly vulnerable
The EU imports more than 40% of its natural gas from Russia as warnings tell it it needs to diversify its energy supply. The second largest supplier, Norway, has much less influence, providing just 16%, according to Eurostat, the bloc’s official statistics body.
Spain, Greece and Italy have three quarters of their energy needs met by imports and Germany has seen its dependence increase from 59pc in 2000 to two thirds of its supply in 2019. Germany is the biggest consumer of natural gas in Europe, accounting for a quarter of its energy needs.
However, gas storage in Europe’s largest economy is only 62% full before winter, when demand picks up, according to Barclays. That’s nearly 30 percentage points below the normal average for the end of September and the bank’s analysts believe that bringing Nord Stream 2 online won’t do much to increase Europe’s supply this time. year.
“There is a lot of politics going on,” says Jason Durden, head of energy markets at Alfa Energy, who adds that Germany was stuck between Moscow and Washington.
“Russian-owned storage in Germany is low and part of it will be all of Nord Stream 2. You could interpret that as political pressure. “