Energy boss warns of winter price rise

Factors such as a stronger Chinese economy and a harsh winter could contribute to a rise in gas prices, the head of the International Energy Agency has cautioned

Energy prices this winter may experience a sharp increase, prompting governments to intervene and subsidise bills once again, warns Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency.

Energy bills could be hit by another spike in gas prices this winter, according to Birol, who casts doubt on the UK Government‘s claim of an average £430 reduction in bills this month.

Birol highlights the potential for rising gas prices if the Chinese economy strengthens rapidly alongside harsh winter conditions, adding pressure on consumers.

To mitigate these challenges, he emphasises the importance of energy saving measures and a greater emphasis on renewable energy sources.

Birol argues that several European governments made strategic errors by over-relying on Russia for energy and prioritising short-term commercial decisions over foreign policy considerations.

In an interview with the BBC’s Today Programme, Fatih Birol said: “In a scenario where the Chinese economy is very strong, buys a lot of energy from the markets and we have a harsh winter, we may see strong upward pressure under natural gas prices, which in turn will put an extra burden on consumers.”

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