In this article From "steam rises from cooling towersent of the Turow coal-fired power plant, operated by PGE SA, in Bogatynia, Poland.Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Images
Soaring natural gas prices have led to an increase in the use of coal, with power plants in Europe and Asia restarting as temperatures drop and the world grapples with worsening gas shortages. gas.
TotalEnergies The CEO Patrick Pouyanne on Wednesday stressed the need to achieve price stability, saying that lower gas prices will reduce the need to depend on more polluting coal, but that the transition to cleaner energy has also created an imbalance in the market. .
"The high prices are not good news - of course, immediately for my business the results are better, but for the customers ", is not it, said Pouyanne to CNBC's Hadley Gamble. during a panel ofe Russia Energy Week in Moscow.
Replacing coal with gas "is good for climate change, but to do that we have to have a lower price ", said the CEO . "Because coal is now a king, because coal is cheaper than all other sources of energy.
Electricity produced by coal has exploded in Europe, and the future of European coal has more than doubled since the start of the year. And the irony is clear, because it is happening just as Europe tries to reduce its use of polluting fuel. Gas prices in Europe, meanwhile, have almost quadrupled since the start of the year.
"So for us today the prices are too high. We have to find stability, get back to something more normal " said Pouyanne.
He added that it was not just a European gas crisis, but a global one, resulting both from a huge increase indemand for gas from China and Asia, "as well as " more demand for gas due to the energy transition from coal to gas, which is good for climate change. "
"So I think that 'sa lesson " said Pouyanne. "Another is that the more we put renewables into our power system, we put intermittent sources that depend on of the weather. "
Pouyanne, like many other executives of oil and gas companies, noted the risk of renewable energies that depend on the weather. Brazil, which has increased its dependence on the weather. hydropower, has seen less rain this year, while other parts of the world that have invested heavily in solar and wind power, have seen less sun and wind.
BP CEO Bernard Looney, speaking in the same panel, echoed Pouyan's concernne.
"I think this crisis in Europe has reminded us that energy is part of the lifeblood of society and that energy use is wrong. that in a way - and it's up, "Looney said. "We all understand that the sun doesn't shine at night and the wind doesn't always blow, so we have this issue of intermittent renewables to deal with.
'A more volatile system '
Speaking of government efforts to reduce the production and use of fossil fuels, Looney said: "At the end of the day, if the supply disappears and the demand doesn't change, it only has a consequence, and it is an escalation of the price increases. I do not suggest so not that the burden of proof should be on customers or the company, but this is a system, and supply and demand should work together. "
"The simple act of correcting an offre without affecting demand will not result in a more stable system, it will result in a more volatile system, ”Looney added.
Higher gas usage due to colder weather earlier in the year "reduced all gas stocks, and so today we see a circumstance ", said Pouyanne. "I think after the winter we should be able to go back to lower prices which would be good for everyone.
Gas prices explode to record highs in Europe. Electricity shortages are also impacting households and businesses across Asia, and have forced factories to close.
This was caused by supply shortages and the transition to cleaner energy, which spurred a higher demand for gas, considered a cleaner fuel. Demand is also rebounding after its Covid-induced slowdown as economies reopen and travel picks up in theth world.
Other energy commodities, including oil, have also skyrocketed in recent weeks, with the international benchmark Brent crude is trading at $ 83.37 at 12:00 p.m. ET, its highest level since 2018 and up 64% since the start of this year.
United States. the benchmark West "Texas Intermediate a peaked in seven years this week and was trading at $ 80.63 at noon ET.
The peak " in energy prices comes amidst supply chain disruptions and a shortage of fuel containers 'expedition, both of which have contributed "to a rapid rise in inflation .