Energy Prices in Europe Hit Records After Wind Stops Blowing…

Nat­ur­al gas and elec­tric­i­ty mar­kets were already surg­ing in Europe when a fresh cat­a­lyst emerged: The wind in the stormy North Sea stopped blowing.

The sud­den slow­down in wind-dri­ven elec­tric­i­ty pro­duc­tion off the coast of the U.K. in recent weeks whip­sawed through region­al ener­gy mar­kets. Gas and coal-fired elec­tric­i­ty plants were called in to make up the short­fall from wind.

Nat­ur­al-gas prices, already boost­ed by the pan­dem­ic recov­ery and a lack of fuel in stor­age cav­erns and tanks, hit all-time highs. Ther­mal coal, long shunned for its car­bon emis­sions, has emerged from a long price slump as util­i­ties are forced to turn on back­up pow­er sources.

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