January 30, 2023

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Europe is “successfully resolving” the energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, helped by lower demand and price intervention, the Czech industry and trade minister said.

Joseph Sigella, who chaired the European Council of Energy Ministers in the second half of last year, told the World Economic Forum in Davos last year that the continent faced difficulties due to Russia’s energy supply and environmental pressures on hydropower.

With gas prices rising to €350 per megawatt hour last summer, he said, “Europe is a mix that needs to be resolved and is being resolved successfully”.

European wholesale gas prices fell to €53 per MWh on Tuesday, he said, highlighting the success of the region’s response.

“Europe has shown solidarity under extreme pressure and intervened in a package of measures to calm prices and balance supply and demand in a very short period of time,” Sigella said.

He added that the difference between summers is “like heaven and hell”. “Well, heaven isn’t as cheap as it used to be [Russia’s invasion]But it is affordable.

Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, congratulated European countries on their efforts to curb demand and cope with this winter, but he raised doubts among some European ministers that the energy crisis has been resolved.

Europe has done a “fantastic job,” Broll said. “The warm winter helped you a little, you must be honest.”

Broll called for increased clean energy development to secure energy security in the coming months and years.