Energy supply crunch triggers a global power crisis

Vrasidas Neofytou
Head of Investment Research

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A combination of strong energy demand, weather-related production disruptions, and tight supplies from Russia, have depleted the global energy inventories to record lows, leading to the current power crisis.

Severe shortages in natural gas and thermal coal supplies have started impacting power generation in many countries around the world, at the same time, demand has begun surging as economies re-emerge from the pandemic lockdown.

Major industrial countries such as India and China are teetering on the edge of a power crisis, after some of their states have been suffering from electricity cuts since the start of October and will face further outages as their energy inventories fall to critical levels.

Both countries are struggling to keep their power grids running, after many coal-fired power plants, which convert heat from coal to electricity, have been forced to shut down production due to coal shortages, whilst governments are warning of power blackouts.

Lebanon, which is suffering one of the worst economic recessions in global modern history, had also experienced a total power blackout during the weekend after fuel supplies run out.

On top of that, other sources of electricity generation such as hydropower, wind, and nuclear have also declined, triggering an unexpected rally in electricity prices in Europe and Asia ahead of the winter heating season.

Investors also worry that the power crisis will have an immediate impact on industrial and agricultural activity in Europe and Asia, while a colder-than-normal winter in the Northern Hemisphere could threaten the global economic recovery post pandemic.

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