Rising energy prices in Europe are pushing the continent to return to heating sources such as coal and firewood, according to a Washington Post report.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upended global energy markets, forcing consumers to make exceptional cuts to offset a spike in energy prices. As winter approaches, the report says, countries in Europe face the harsh realities of rationing, theft and dependence on wood.
Sources quoted by the Washington Post said that “firewood is the new gold”. The report added that consumers are rushing to buy old heaters for their homes, which could cause more problems if not installed properly. Another source said the rush to change the way homes are heated leads him to believe “we’re going to have to put some people out horizontally this winter.”
Energy prices in Europe climbed up to 1000% above the pre-war level. At the same time, the European Union rushed to secure energy storage ahead of winter, while promising continued government aid to offset a sharp rise in consumer costs. Analysts cited by the Washington Post predict an increase in poverty and government debt, along with other negative environmental consequences, as it essentially turns back on energy.
And the head of Germany’s energy regulator, Klaus Müller, told the Washington Post that dismantling European energy stability is part of Putin’s playbook, which is “the price of this war.”