Whiplash on natural gas

Natural-gas prices have fluctuated wildly, causing knock-on effects across climatetech. We unpack what’s behind the price swings — and what might happen next.

On the Catalyst with Shayle Kann podcast this week:

The natural-gas market has been through a wild ride, especially in Europe. First, the pandemic pushed prices way down. Then a resurgent economy and an unusually long European winter sent them back up to record heights. And by September 2022, Russia had dramatically cut natural-gas flows to Europe, further squeezing supply.

The high prices were especially painful for Europe, which relies heavily on the fuel for home heating, industry and power plants. But high prices also catalyzed efforts to shift to lower-carbon technologies such as renewables, hydrogen and heat pumps.

Fast-forward to this past December, when gas prices plummeted again. What’s going on? What’s causing these rapid swings, and what might happen next?

In this episode, Shayle talks to Anne-Sophie Corbeau, a research scholar at Columbia University’s SIPA Center on Global Energy Policy, where she studies natural gas and hydrogen. An article she penned, Putin’s energy gambit fizzles as warm winter saves Europe,” recently ran in Bloomberg.

They discuss how we got here, covering topics including:

  • The range of factors at play, such as LNG cargos, a European drought and unusual weather patterns

  • Whether Europe will resume large-scale natural-gas imports from Russia

  • Why China’s zero-Covid policy and an unusually warm winter amounted to a lucky break for Europe

What topics would you like to hear covered on the show? Send us an email or voice memo to [email protected].

Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more.