/ 29 September 2021

A global energy crisis comes knocking

Image source: Unsplash
Image source: Unsplash

THE SQUIZ
From Europe to Asia, there are growing concerns about critical energy shortages that have the potential to upend the world’s economic recovery as we try to move on from the COVID cluster-disaster of the last 18 months.

WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
• China’s northeast is suffering energy shortages of such significance that analysts think 44% of China’s industrial activity has been affected. Some of it is self-imposed the Chinese Government toughened emissions standards. But another big problem is the shortage of coal to fire up power generators, and that’s got a lot to do with China’s ban on Aussie coal during its ongoing crankiness with our government.

• Europe and the UK can’t get enough natural gas – not a good place to be as they head into a colder than usual winter. Wholesale gas prices have risen by 400-500% in the last year – that’s said to be down to countries trying to outbid one another for supplies as Russia plays political games with its gas exports. And there are growing concerns for poorer nations that will likely get caught up in price hikes and supply crunches.

• As all that happens, the UK is experiencing petrol and diesel shortages that are hurting industries and freaking out locals. Experts say that’s down to a shortage of truck drivers and Brexit.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Well, the world runs on fuel and electricity, and there are fears that what’s going down could touch every corner of the global economy. There’s no simple cause and fix – #itscomplicated… But supply chains are expected to be squeezed, which will likely lead to price hikes – including on the goods Australia imports. And given the link between energy production, climate change and reducing emissions, it’s up for discussion between world leaders when they gather in Glasgow in November. It’s another hairy walnut to add to the mounting pile of hairy walnuts…

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