Article1 September 2022

Europe prepares for a hard winter

It is no secret that Europe is heading for a severe energy crisis. Energy prices have already skyrocketed but companies and households will only be confronted with higher energy bills in the coming months. While rising bills are inevitable, the other big risk for Europe is supply disruption

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Europe's gas storage tanks are 80% full

Amid all the doom and gloom, there is at least some positive news in that European countries have been able to fill gas storage ahead of schedule. The European Commission has asked member states to fill reserves up to at least 80% by 1 November. Most countries have already reached that level well ahead of time. Overall, Europe is currently at 80.2%, which is about two months ahead of time.

European gas storage has been filling up

Natural gas, stock level, country total, fill level (%)

Source: Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), Macrobond
Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), Macrobond

Governments are stepping in

This means that the EU has chosen to pay a high price to achieve sufficient gas supply ahead of the winter. At the same time, it is no guarantee that shortages will not happen. As Europe still relies on further imports in the winter months, there is a chance that a cold winter still results in shortages. If these shortages occur, it will be at the end of the winter. However, it currently also looks as if energy supply issues could go beyond this winter into next.

While countries are filling their national gas reserves, governments are looking into ways to tackle or at least mitigate the impact of higher energy prices on consumers and corporates. Measures differ between countries, both in terms of magnitude and nature. We provide an overview of the current state of play below and expect more measures to be announced in the coming weeks.

National policies introduced to help consumers with rising energy prices

Western Europe

Eastern Europe