European energy markets this winter: short-term confidence or long-term shift?

Europe enters this winter with many wholesale energy markets scraping record low prices. The continent also enters this winter with its energy markets mid-way through a major transition; one that will eventually span decades, and one that will permanently alter the dynamics of the markets.

Whereas once, the long-term outlook for energy markets painted a picture of ever-rising prices predicated on growing populations and increasing demand, today, the picture both long-term in the midst of the low-carbon transition and short-term for the winter ahead, is quite different.

A swathe of bearish drivers, including oversupplied gas, poor demand for coal, cheap oil and little sign of consumption-inducing cold weather underpin this picture. Yet to many, the fundamental risks facing some countries are no less than in previous winters and indeed, in others, are actually higher.

In this white paper, ICIS looks at a short-term horizon: this immediate winter’s energy market outlook, against the backdrop of a long-term horizon: a potential new reality for European power and gas. Could this really be the end of ever-rising wholesale energy prices? ICIS examines how the drivers behind this long-term trend are manifest in how this winter’s outlook has unfolded to date.

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