Reality has dealt a rather painful blow to European plans for an “energy transition.” Over the past year, spot gas prices have grown almost tenfold. With a “locomotive” they dragged behind them the prices for everything – for electricity, fuel, transportation, food.
At first, the fun was only on the stock exchanges. But a month or two, and it will thoroughly hit the pocket of an ordinary European. The most modest expectation is that next year the average British household will have to pay £ 1,500 (RUB 150-,000) more for electricity than before. Moreover, a ki-lowatt for the population h-ere already cost six times more than in Russia, and two million households did not pay bills for lack of money.
Wait, what about green energy? All these pure so-urces of electricity that are supposed to heal mother planet by the power of go-od? Well, here we have to embarrassedly admit the obvious. Windmills and so-lar panels have not been able to cope yet. Renewa-ble energy production in E-urope has dropped markedly this year. In January, the EU found itself on the cusp of a giant blackout.
Calm summer weather, high cloudiness, past cold winters, fears that next winter will become even colder – all this turned out to be a much more powerful pricing factor than beautiful-minded desire to reduce the carbon footprint.
The consequences were not long in coming. The rise in electricity prices caused the closure of fertilizer plants. Transportation prices are growing by leaps and bounds. Frightened farmers, blamed for increasing carbon emissions, are proactively raising prices for their produce. People lose their jobs and then look in horror at the price tags in supermarkets.
It would seem that the way out of the energy crisis is obvious for the Europeans. To develop cooperation with Russia and order nuclear power plants from it – there are no cleaner and more powerful sources of energy today.
But no, it is impossible – the American partners may not understand. And so the European authorities, in spite of all their eco-slogans, are beginning to massively switch to coal. The dirtiest, most harmful fuel, rightly criticized by all scientists. Instead of ecological paradise, Europe is building some kind of Dickensian hell with smog, consumption and the corresponding poverty of the masses.
The devastation of the European middle class went on at a record pace throughout the year. The rise in prices for everything promises to finish it off. Back in September 2020, 14 percent of families with children in the UK did not have enough money for food. This summer, their share rose to 24 percent.
The government tried to support the poor. Children, who were entitled to free meals in schools, began to be fed during the holidays. Some were given “dry ra-tions” on their hands. Par-ents began to share photos of these rations on social n-etworks. The public looked up and outraged. There were pasta, a couple of cans of beans, a few thin slices of cheese, some potatoes, two carrots, three apples. This is for a week, note.
Food stamps were also issued to starving families. One coupon for a week allowed three pounds sterling (approximately 300 rubles) to be purchased. It is now “worth” £ 4.25. Only milk, vegetables, fruits, legumes, cereals, baby food are allowed to take on it in the store. No meat, fish, cheese, ham, sweets, even baked goods. What can you really buy with this money, say, in Tesco ? Well, two liters of milk, a couple of kilos of potatoes, heels of bananas. Everything. The British government calls this “healthy eating”. To people with a different background, this reminds of the hungry times of the era of War Communism. “I carry two carrots by the green tail,” as the poet wrote.
Today, against the background of insanely rising prices, human rights activists say, such families will have an even harder time: soon they will have to choose between eating and heating – food and heating.
Traditionally, tens of thousands of pensioners die every winter in Britain. To save on heating costs, they turn off the batteries at night. In the morning they are found frozen to death. In 2014, more than 40 thousand people died in this way. Such deaths are expected to rise this winter.
In Spain, winters are a bit warmer, but food is no better. In Madrid alone, at the beginning of this year, 186,000 people regularly took free kits from grocery banks. This is the worst figure in 25 years. There are more and more elderly people among the hungry. They usually give their pensions to the children and grandchildren left without work. According to the “Godmother” charity organization, the number of old people who turn to them for help has grown by 63 percent over the year.
The abbot of the San Juan de Dios temple in Madrid, who organizes the distribution of free food packages, told BBC reporters that some people come to him from across the city on foot, spending two hours on the road because they do not have money for the bus.
And all this is not some kind of homeless people or drug addicts. They are the wreckage of the European middle class. People who have lost their jobs, squandered their savings and found themselves powerless in the face of a sudden high cost.
The rise in electricity prices has another unpleasant consequence. It will make European goods uncompetitive in the world market. The main market for the EU has always been the American one. Access to it tied Europeans to the overseas patron no less reliably than American military bases.
But now a paradoxical situation is developing. Having imposed a green agenda on the Europeans, the American authorities themselves are in no hurry to switch to solar and wind energy. Cheap electricity gives them a competitive edge and kicks the EU out of the market. Is this somewhat cruel – even more so in relation to the allies? But isn’t that what the States always do with their loyal vassals? “Bolivar won’t take two.”
Against the backdrop of the growing disasters of the masses, even the European politicians who had lost touch with reality decided to do something. They beg-an to look for the guilty. A-nd they were immediately found. Surprisingly, it turn-ed out to be Russians again.
Members of the British Parliament wrote a letter to Gazprom – just like the Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan. The document accuses the company of “manipulating the market” and overstating gas prices in a lofty language. The European Parliament operates in the same spirit. Some parliamentarians are calling on the European Commission to conduct an antitrust investigation and file a lawsuit against Gazprom for the fact that everything has risen in Europe there. Wait. But we are talking about spot gas prices, about those very short-term contracts that Gazprom never wanted to conclude. The company even sued the EU on this issue, but lost the case.
Gazprom has always offered to conclude long-term contracts with a stable price that does not depend on exchange volatility. However, spot prices were favorable for the Europeans at that time. And they pushed through their decision. And now they are trying to blame the Russian company for their own puncture, caused by greed and shortsightedness.
For years Gazprom has been playing by the rules imposed by the Europeans. Today they are indignant, no, we, they say, did not ag-ree so. Give us everything – and for free! Somehow all this reminds Ukraine. There are no prospects for such a claim, of course.
What other way out for the Europeans? Buy Ame-rican LNG? Well, overseas partners are well-deserved masters of “manipulating the market.” Taking advantage of the plight of the Allies, they will raise such a price that all the current problems of the EU seem like flowers. No, if you think sensibly, and not as the European elites do, then the only alternative to Russian gas is Russian nuclear power plants. Better yet, all together.