PARIS — Europe’s energy sector is going through an “exceptional crisis,” the chief executive of France’s leading gas importer Engie said on Friday, adding that current events, mainly shaped by a cut in Russian imports and a needed shift towards green energy, are a “turning point.”
“The world of energy as we have known it won’t ever be the same again,” Catherine MacGregor told RTL radio.
Asked if Engie, France’s main gas supplier to households, may face a gas shortage this winter, MacGregor said she was “very confident that we will make it,” unless particularly severe weather conditions lead to an unusually high demand.
“This is why the message of energy sobriety remains extremely important,” she said.
A dispute over gas supplies between Engie and Gazprom escalated this week as the Russian company prepared to halt all deliveries to its French contractor, citing missing payments.
Russia now accounts for less than 4% of Engie’s gas imports compared with 17% before the war in Ukraine, with supply in recent months falling to just 1.5 terawatt-hours (TWh), the utility said.
The French government said that the country needed to cut its energy use by around 10% in order to avoid gas cuts. (Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)