The current price crisis makes it clear that the search for the lowest price is not always a good deal when it comes to raw materials without which an entire industrial sector can be blocked. Reducing the price of gas for energy-intensive companies is important, but much more could be done to reduce the price of electricity, which affects a far greater number of users.
When natural gas reached Europe only via pipeline, the contracts were stable and the price correlated with that of oil and its derivatives based on their respective calorific values: with those formulas today gas would cost twice as much as a year ago, not ten times as much.
The availability of a lot of liquefied gas in recent years has transformed a market in which the price is dictated by suppliers in a market with prices dictated by consumers, the price has dropped, making gas increasingly convenient and desirable, given its lower environmental impact: currently only 20% of the contracts in place are the price of gas is still pegged to oil.
The new contracts are in various ways related to the prices of the gas exchangewhich reflects the average of the prices of the moment, perhaps of transactions of small quantities, not always carried out by those who buy to distribute: there are financial operators who instead of acting on the stock market buy and sell lots of gas, to make money on price changes which sometimes instead of due to imbalances between supply and demand reflect expectations dictated by international politics.
The market price of gas is therefore a danceryears ago in Texas it came to be negative, that is, those who at that moment were able to take gas in their deposits without buyers from a ship stationary in the Gulf of Mexico, received a compensation of 35 dollars per ton.
The current price crisis makes it clear that the search for the lowest price is not always a good deal when it comes to raw materials without which an entire industrial sector can be blocked.: the loss in Europe of the very significant supply of Russian gas has suddenly transformed a market for buyers’ gas into a market with insufficient supply with prices dictated by the sellers.
A block that was considered extremely unlikely, given that if it is not delivered to Europe, it has no other possible destination, as long as it is not possible. divert it to China via the large gas pipeline under construction through Mongolia: not all the gas purchased is at the mercy of stock market prices, the contracts of large importing companies are not in the public domain, but certainly the most important have included clauses to amortize large changes in stock market prices.
The huge profits they have reported over the past few quarters they show that they have been able to contain the variation in purchase prices, probably within 50% of stock market variations: they make large profits because the retail price is dictated by less provident suppliers, who are also necessary. Likewise, the Italian State, which collects the VAT, is making a profit as a percentage of much higher sales prices.
These days it seems that in Europe a maximum price is being imposed, the so-called “price cap“which in theory should cause a reduction in the volumes on offer, because it is much lower than that of the Amsterdam stock exchange: in my opinion a shortage of volumes will not occur, because the small quantities that the large importers they receive in this period are not certain. additional, certainly fall within the volumes of their long-term contracts, with prices below the “Price Cap“That limits the increases to 50% compared to a year ago: On the other hand, a wholly Western speculation would be stopped and the extra earnings of the distribution companies that are currently trying to tax with difficulty would be reduced.
Reducing the price of gas for energy-intensive companies is important, but much more could be done to reduce the price of electricity, which affects a far greater number of users.CopyAMP code.
Given that gas in recent years was sold at a bargain price and changes in electricity consumption were offset by activating gas turbines, it was logical to relate the price to that of the gas exchange: it becomes absurd, however, when the price of gas increases tenfold, in an Italy in which a large part of the energy produced with renewables, through hydroelectric, wind and photovoltaic that are not subject to price increases.
The prices of the protected market are fixed every three months by ARERA: it should be decided to change its formulation in periods such as the current one in which the price of gas becomes penalizing, at the limit by subsidizing the marginal productions made with natural gas, instead of spending many billions public to contain the crazy price of bills.
Russia has recently been flaring up large volumes of natural gas near the Finnish border; perhaps because it has filled all its underground deposits and bureaucratic problems or technical limits do not yet allow it to reduce its extractions in Siberia: this is how Europe is mocked by burning the gas that would be used to produce energy for Europe, while the little gas that is still supplied continues to finance Putin’s war, army, missiles and bombs.
At the end of the year, Putin will no longer be able to sell oil to countries that apply sanctions, he will sell it below cost to the rest of the world: gas not sold to Europe, however, has no other possible buyers: the real European weapon against the war in Ukraine is to completely renounce Russian gas.
We must do our part, truly commit ourselves to peace even by paying in person: i European underground gas deposits are over 80% full, by now we could give up Russian gas.
Citizens accepting in the coming winter limits on heating, the government and state bureaucracy putting the utmost commitment to make energy saving in the residential sector without any obstacle, even if less facilitated, simplifying the activation of the Energy Communities for the rapid installation of many photovoltaic panels; finally by placing a particular commitment to increase the capacity for receiving liquefied gas by ship and, if necessary, by deliberating for some time the reactivation of coal-fired plants.