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Europe’s Energy Crisis Is About to Get Worse as Winter Arrives

With the prospect of blackouts and fights for supplies, there’s a growing sense of foreboding before the cold weather has even really hit.

Frankfurt night lights

Photographer: Frank Rumpenhorst/picture alliance/Getty Images

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Energy prices in Europe are repeatedly breaking records even before winter really kicks in, and one of the most damaging cost crunches in history is about to get worse as the temperature starts to drop.

A super price spike in the U.K. last month forced some industrial companies to cut production and seek state aid, a harbinger for what could play out widely in Europe just as it contends with a resurgence of the coronavirus. For governments, it could mean tension with neighboring countries by moving to protect supplies. For households, it could mean being asked to use less energy or even plan for rolling blackouts.