Anna Borg CEO , Vattenfall Last year was to a large extent characterised by the volatility on the European energy markets and the sharp increase in energy prices , which had a big impact on households and companies all over Europe . But 2021 was also a year when climate challenges were in focus , more than ever , for the European energy market . Many energy companies , including Vattenfall , took part in COP 26 , discussing how both the energy as well as other sectors such as steel and transportation , could reduce their use of fossil fuels . One result of those discussions was the First Movers Coalition initiative where the 33 founding companies ( including Vattenfall ) from all over the world committed to increase the demand for new low carbon technologies and products from hard-toabate sectors .
This year has started with a continued focus on the volatile energy prices and I think that this will remain in focus for most of the year . In addition , the actions to address climate change have to accelerate even further . We energy companies , must continue to phase out our fossil energy production and the regulatory framework needs to be there to facilitate the transition . As an example , the permitting processes for building new , fossil free power and distribution grids must be significantly shortened in order for not just companies but also countries to reach their respective climate targets in time . Globally , we need to keep the 1.5-Target alive and as it was unanimously agreed at COP26 , all countries need to strengthen their climate targets during 2022 , ahead of COP27 in Egypt for the world to be on the 1.5C trajectory . AT
Torben Nordal Clausen CEO , MFT Energy The story in 2021 is gas . Several incidents led to an extreme price increase . As a result of a cold and long 20 / 21 winter , storage was at its lowest level in 10 years , Russian gas flows were limited and wind production was unusually low and created higher demand for gas . In addition , there was an LNG bidding war between Asia and Europe , while higher EUA prices lead to a higher demand for gas than coal . Lastly , the US hurricane season limited LNG exports from the US .
Gas will be the key focus for all market participants . If gas storage does not return to a normal level , we will have a second version of the 21 / 22 winter . HPM
Christian Zinglersen Director of Acer A key issue in 2021 was the gas supply shock and ensuing high energy prices . One of Acer ’ s 2022 priorities is delivering our assessment of the benefits and drawbacks of the EU electricity market design as requested by the European Commission . Countries which are better interconnected and less dependent on natural gas for their power generation seemed more resilient towards the price volatility witnessed in the second half of last year .
EU energy market integration continues to advance , with tangible benefits evident . Still , a lot of work remains . This includes enhancing the amount of electricity interconnection capacity available for cross-zonal trade , getting European level resource adequacy assessment on a firm footing , and gas decarbonisation . SH
Marco Alverà CEO of Snam Hydrogen is no longer the fuel of the future . It is happening now . 2021 saw the world laying the foundations to make hydrogen cheaper than fossil fuels . The next decade will see an accelerating impact for climate technologies where we believe the growth of hydrogen and renewables will go hand in hand .
Yet , in 2021 we have also witnessed the consequences of a global energy crunch with gas prices skyrocketing – making it clear that the energy transition will need to be carefully managed . To lower structural winter competition with Asia and be less exposed to gas price volatility , Europe should better use its existing storage capacity as well as build new storage through a cross country-coordinated approach with the blessing of the EU .
Jean-Paul Harreman Director , EnAppSys In 2021 , we saw the energy market crisis , driven by gas , carbon prices , weather and nuclear availability . Despite this crisis , the development of renewables continued . In 2021 the share of renewables in the fuel mix increased , where gas was pushed back in the merit order by coal and lignite . As a result we saw lower flexible capacity in the grid to deal with renewable intermittency and forecast deviations . France flipped from a major exporter of power in the summer , to a major importer in December due to high demand and low nuclear supply , whereas Poland , a traditional importer of power became a netexporter due to its coal and lignite dominated market .
For 2022 , as high gas prices and geopolitical insecurity continue , we expect even lower flexibility in the major markets . Germany has shut down coal and nuclear assets , French nuclear availability is still at the lowest level in history . The higher volume of renewables will put grids under stress during the summer , pushing conventional power further out of merit . Depending on geopolitics , gas prices may return to more normal levels , in which case markets may be better able to cope with volatility . What happens in the coming weeks will definitely set the scene for the rest of the year . LFT
Natural gas storage today will enable the storage of renewable gases such as biomethane and hydrogen in future . These will play an everincreasing role to improve price stability and the security of supply throughout the energy transition . ET
Montel Magazine 1 – 2022