Temperatures will be well below average in the Scandinavian region and Germany, while Helsinki will drop 6.9 degrees Celsius below average on December 6 and 7, weather organization Maxar Technologies said in a report. Forecasters warn that the cold will not affect only the south of Europe.
“In the middle or end of next week, a blocking anticyclone will begin to form over Greenland, which will send cold Arctic air to Europe,” meteorologists at the Klart Center in Sweden said. After a milder-than-usual autumn that allowed utilities to replenish natural gas supplies, the first prolonged cold snap in winter will be a major test for Europe’s energy system. From Finland to France, governments are warning of power shortages and rolling blackouts as electricity demand rises in the coming months.
In the Scandinavian countries, electricity has risen in price – the daily rate has risen by 8.2 percent to 373.23 euros per megawatt-hour. This is the highest rate since September.
“Most likely, we will see a significant increase in demand, which will force hydroelectric producers to increase the cost of water and, therefore, lead to higher prices,” said Fabian Ronningen, an analyst at Rystad Energy AS.
Electricity is already scarce in southern Sweden, and the shutdown of the country’s largest reactor in December will be the biggest test for the local power grid. According to Ronningen, this could increase electricity exports from Norway.
Prices are likely to stay above the €300 mark for the next few weeks, a direct result of colder weather.
Much of continental Europe is also bracing for cooler temperatures next week. On December 5, the air temperature in Paris will be 6.6 degrees Celsius below normal.