Europe faces blackouts after coal phase out

Europe faces blackouts after coal phase out

Europe has been struck with a shortage of power generation capacity and could face blackouts following the continent’s shift to phase out coal and nuclear, according to one of the continent’s biggest producers of gas.

Tor Martin Anfinnsen, senior vice president for marketing and trading at Statoil ASA, said there is expected to be “a severe shortage” in generation capacity across the UK, Belgium and Germany as a result of the reduction of coal and nuclear generated power in these countries.

Anfinnsen said: “If you have a dangerous bend in the road and everyone knows there is a dangerous bend but nothing is done with it unless there is an accident in the road,” he added: “Is that what we will see in Europe in power generation as well? Will we have to see blackouts before you see a change in policies? That remains to be seen but we are getting dangerously close in many markets.”

Anfinnsen suggested this reduction in capacity would result in the higher use of gas in electricity production, highlighting the growth in demand for gas during Europe’s cold snap in March which saw the UK scrambling for gas supplies.

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