Even as Europe heaved a sigh of relief with gas supplies through Nord Stream 1 pipeline resuming on time after being closed for 10 days, flows are yet to normalise. That apart, fears are looming large that Russia could choke supplies in the future.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Russian gas flows via Nord Stream resumed last week, with orders for gas set at around 40 per cent of its capacity, the level from before the maintenance after Moscow slashed flows in mid-June. Flows were at around 21.5 GWh after it resumed, compared to 30GWh prior to the start of maintenance on July 11, and compared to 70 GWh before Russia reduced supplies by 60 per cent on June 13.
IEA has underlined the need for Europe to reduce consumption by 20 per cent to face the harsh winter.
IEA chief Fatih Birol has already issued a “red alert” warning for energy markets.
Nord Stream 1 is Europe’s key gas pipeline, running through the Baltic Sea.
Europe is in the grip of its worst energy crisis in many decades. The ongoing heat wave has made things worse for the continent, which is now staring at an economic recession.
Germany, European Union’s largest economy, sourced 55 per cent of its natural gas from Russia last year. While the dependence has significantly reduced at 35 per cent, it will be a tough task for the country to avoid a recession. It could even resort to rationing use of hot water to conserve energy.
Also read: Is Germany's former chancellor Angela Merkel responsible for her country's energy crisis?