In response to Western sanctions following invasion of Ukraine, Russia cut supplies of natural gas to several countries in Europe. The continent was already facing questions on energy security before the war began. Now a potential natural gas shortage might cause supply chain disruptions. Reasons include:
- Reduced flow of natural gas in Russian gas pipelines to Europe. Russia has stopped natural gas delivery to Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Netherlands, and Poland. It claims that it could only deliver 20% of capacity to Germany’s Nord Stream 1 pipeline because of turbine repair.
- Alternatives such as liquified natural gas (LNG) are insufficient. Imports of LNG via floating storage and regasification units currently provide only small volumes. Europe is racing to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals and new pipelines.
- Transition to renewable energy takes time. Governments aim to speed transition to renewables such as biogas or fuels based on clean hydrogen. However, standard sources such as nuclear power and fossil fuels, most notably coal, are seeing a revival.