Europe has already entered the heating season, but the energy markets are still vulnerable, is the conclusion of the European Commission, which extended aid measures to member states for companies affected by energy price spikes until June 2024. Energy expert Željko Marković says that the energy crisis is not over yet and that the reasons for its establishment have not been eliminated. He states that the key recommendation from Brussels is work on improving the transmission network.
In an interview with RTS, Željko Marković says that the consequences of geopolitical tensions, such as the war in Ukraine and the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Middle East, are still present, as well as that there are still problems with the supply of natural gas.
“All this affects the price of energy sources, first of all oil and gas, and then the effect that is transferred to other energy sources. That is why it is important to take measures so that high prices are not established again. The goal is to adequately protect the population and the economy,” says Marković.
He points out that the change in energy prices affects the establishment of higher inflation, which further endangers detention, but also the population.
Marković also believes that rational consumption is one of the main measures by which citizens can fight the unwanted consequences of rising prices due to geopolitical crises.
“That’s why it’s important to keep saving, regardless of whether the prices are lower now or not, they can easily return to that level,” says Marković.
Stock market situation
Marković states that the prices on the world stock markets are calm and falling, but that they are still higher than before the crisis in the Middle East. He points out, however, that prices are more stable compared to last year, when major changes occurred due to the war in Ukraine.
“At that time, our coal went from about 90 USD to 400. Now it is about 120 USD per ton. Oil varies between 80 and 90 USD per barrel, while gas is somewhat lower because the warehouses were already 95% full in September and October,” Marković points out.
Currently, the price of electricity on the stock exchanges is around USD 120 per megawatt hour, and these are predictions for the year 2024, says Marković.
The influence of weather conditions on energy sources
Marković believes that the consumption of electricity, and energy in general, correlates a lot with temperatures and that weather conditions are one of the important factors.
“Care must be taken because it may happen that we have a longer ice wave and that significantly affects consumption. On the other hand, short disasters, like the one we are having now, affect the infrastructure, so it is important to strengthen the infrastructure as well,” says Marković.
EU recommendation and transmission network
Along with increasing the capacity of renewable energy sources, Brussels also voted on recommendations on work to improve the transmission network.
Marković states that the recommendation is a key measure in the decarbonization of the EU because more sources of renewable energy will be installed.
“That installation must also follow the development of the infrastructure. The entire concept of the electricity industry is changing, where we had large producers who were concentrated on high-voltage lines of the highest voltage. Now we also have sources from smaller producers who have to connect to the infrastructure,” says Marković.
He concludes that the estimates are that in this regard, the infrastructure of Europe, and Serbia, should double in the next eight years, and adds the production of electric vehicles to the calculation.
“Therefore, we have the decarbonization of transport. And electric vehicles again need to have an infrastructure in order for the vehicles to be charged. And the transmission network is very important especially in emergency situations – the energy expert points out,” ekapija reports.