Sweden not well prepared for power shortages – Official
The head of supply preparedness at the Swedish civil contingencies agency MSB reveals that "Unfortunately, preparedness is generally very poor," in Sweden.
Heading into a winter of crisis in terms of energy rationing, Sweden lacks preparedness for possible power cuts, Jan-Olof Olsson, the head of supply preparedness at the Swedish civil contingencies agency MSB said.
"Unfortunately, preparedness is generally very poor. Back in 2011, we identified 50,000 socially important businesses in Sweden that depended on power supply," Olsson told public broadcaster SVT.
Power rationing could have an impact on traffic lights, trams, communications, and heating, in addition to properties' electronic locks, the broadcaster said.
The Swedish statistics agency revealed that power costs were up 29% in August. Energy prices have been driving other costs of living upwards, also leading food prices to rise for nine months in a row.
The EU has been preparing for a gas shortage this winter. On a proposal from the European Commission, European energy ministers had approved a 15% reduction in their gas consumption between August 1 and March 31, compared to their average consumption over the same period in the past five years.
Sweden, which has the highest gasoline prices in Europe, announced a temporary tax decrease in March as part of a $1.5 billion package of measures.
Sweden can provide 2,400 megawatts, but the country is also facing potential shortages and has already resorted to oil backup plants.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen proposed on Wednesday that the bloc's 27 nations agree on placing a price cap on Russian gas imports.
Von der Leyen's decision comes as a means of imposing further sanctions on Russia as the West looks for more means of punishing the country over the Ukraine war.
Capping prices, as some Western countries are considering, "would be an absolutely stupid decision," Putin told the Eastern Economic Forum in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok.
The G7 industrialized nations pledged last week to work quickly to establish a price cap on Russian oil imports in order to cut off a key source of funding for Moscow's military activity in Ukraine.