Historic DROUGHT – Energy Crisis WORSENS?
(RepublicanPress.org) – In the United States, supplies needed to run the country make their way via trucks or planes from factory to store, while energy-producing materials travel largely by boat over the high seas. In Europe, many regions rely on smaller waterways to move such commodities. Unfortunately, those pathways are drying up more than normal, causing energy concerns on the continent.
What is Happening?
The Rhine River is an essential pathway that Europe uses to move industrial commodities and energy products to the region. The body of water runs about 800 miles from the mountains of Switzerland to the North Sea off the coast of the Netherlands. People have used the Rhine to move goods since the time of the Roman Empire. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, experts suspect water levels in the river will soon dip to 34 centimeters — largely impassable by boat.
Sadly, Germany relies heavily on coal to function and, without the river, the country’s power problems will only increase.
Eastern Europe is also experiencing the same issue due to droughts in the area, as they rely on the Danube for supplies. That river runs from Western Deutschland to the Black Sea, passes through 10 countries along its way, and only about one-third of vessels are able to now get through. Captain Alexander Kamenov from Bulgaria told The Wall Street Journal that people can now walk to islands that used to only be accessible by boat.
The power plant, Grosskraftwerk Mannheim AG, announced it has enough coal to run for “several weeks,” but the supply won’t last forever. While the energy producers don’t seem to be in danger of shutting down, the cost to get supplies is skyrocketing. That’s because companies have to use more expensive means of transportation.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is already affecting prices, as the normal flow of oil and gas had dropped off significantly since the invasion in February. That fact and the increased prices of production will likely make their way to consumers and affect Europe’s struggling economy.
Other Issues from the Drought
Energy prices and the chance of a recession in Europe are not the only concerns coming out of the climate issues in that part of the world. France’s power plants rely on a certain water temperature to cool its nuclear reactors. Lately, the resource is too warm to serve its purpose, and the plants are unable to produce as much output while complying with environmental regulations, according to WSJ.
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