Rubber Meets Road - European Gas Edition

Honestly, when was the last time any of us thought about gas, electricity, or water? These essentials are simply there when we need them, and we do not often think about the efforts required to ensure dependable supply – efforts which can require years of planning and implementation.

What brought this to mind was the response which President Putin gave to a question about European gas supply, about halfway through a press conference during his recent visit to Iran.
Vladimir Putin answered media questions • President of Russia (

"What is the situation with energy deliveries? In 2020, in the first half of 2020, gas cost 100 euros per 1,000 cubic metres in Europe. The price rose to 250 euros in the first half of 2021. Today it is 1,700 euros per 1,000 cubic metres of gas.

"What is happening? I have spoken about this on numerous occasions, and I do not know if we should go into detail regarding the energy policies of European countries, which underrate the importance of traditional sources of energy and have put money on non-traditional energy sources. They are big experts on non-traditional relations, and they have also decided to make a bid for non-traditional energy sources like the sun and wind.

“Last winter was long, there was no wind, and that did it. Investment in the fixed assets of traditional energy producers has decreased because of previous political decisions: banks do not finance them, insurance companies do not insure them, local governments do not allocate land plots for new projects, and pipeline and other forms of transportation are not developing. This is a result of many years, probably a decade of this policy. This is the root cause of price hikes rather than any actions by Russia or Gazprom.”

Then Mr. Putin launched into a long & highly detailed account of the actions by European countries which have resulted in reduced gas deliveries – apparently quoting figures from memory, not from a teleprompter.

Meanwhile, the UK is on track to get a Prime Minister who does not know her Baltic from her Black Sea – although her defenders would be quite entitled to claim that she has a better grasp of geography than President Biden. This was not the way the world was supposed to be!


This coming winter is going to get real interesting.


Heck, everything is going to get “interesting. Germany killed off ALL their nuke plants a while ago, and I kind of doubt they can be rehabbed and reopened. They were well on the way to clean, plentiful energy - and look what they did.

After such. stupidity, nothing is surprising anymore.


What is it about the Germans? A while back, there was a news item about water treatment in rainy Germany. Seemingly, the same kind of politicians who shut down nuclear power plants had also imposed low-flow toilets and various other water-saving changes on the German public – because rainy Germany needs to save water. What the solons did not understand was that the sewers had been designed to handle a particular range of water flow rates – if the flow is too low, the sewers get clogged.

End of the story was that because German local authorities had such admirable success in cutting the population’s water use, they were then having to buy fresh water to pour into the sewers to meet the minimum flow requirements. Of course, the German public was having to pay for that fresh water.

Democracy is dysfunctional! Unfortunately, not just in Germany.


There are currently three operating nuclear power plants in Germany. In 2021, there were six plants operating, generating 13.3% of electricity in the country. Three were shut down at the end of 2021, and the remaining three were scheduled to close at the end of 2022. With the potential for cutoff of natural gas from Russia, shutdown of the three operating plants may be delayed or cancelled. It is believed that the three reactors shut down at the end of 2021 could be restarted if a decision was made to do so.