60. From Energy Transition to Energy Crunch: The “Natgaspocalypse” - oct21

Redefining Energy

Oct 15 2021 • 22 mins

For the past decade, Natural Gas has been promoted as the “Clean, Reliable and Cheap” fuel to assist the Energy Transition. Well that cosy theory, heavily promoted by the fossil fuel companies, is collapsing in front of our eyes with the Gas crunch affecting Europe, Asia and Latin America.
As of 6 October 2021, TTF (the Dutch gas hub) front month prices briefly touched 160EUR/MWh, 8 times higher than where they were at beginning of the year, and equivalent to a staggering 56USD/mmbtu or 350USD/bbl of Oil.

In this episode, that we record almost live, Gerard and Laurent try to analyse the causes, the impacts, and the long-term consequences of what we dub “The Natgaspocalypse”. We might as well have called the episode “From Russia with love” as we are discussing, amongst other factors, the role of Russia in the current energy crunch.

But a lot of other long-term and short-term factors have come together to create the perfect storm. So, if supply is being analysed, there is also a lot to discuss about demand.

How those crazy energy prices are fed to the final consumers is creating havoc within the Energy supply chain and triggers heavy-handed, hastily designed, government interventions. Such crises certainly distract the decision makers from their lofty “Net Zero by 2050” goals.

Even when the market ends up rebalancing, as commodities market always do, the suddenness of the shock and its magnitude will generate significant consequences that will go beyond price controls and geopolitics. Governments will need to be more hands-on, whether through a faster decarbonisation or simply doubling down on gas.

The Energy Transition will not be a smooth journey.

We thank Aquila Capital for their support