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Europe’s Energy Crisis Risks Dwarfing $279 Billion Rescue Cash

  • Programs to ease energy costs are failing to rein in demand
  • The approach is ‘putting out fire with gasoline,’ expert says
A light on in a home within a block of apartments at dusk in Berlin.

A light on in a home within a block of apartments at dusk in Berlin.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Europe’s politicians have already earmarked about 280 billion euros ($279 billion) to ease the pain of surging energy prices for businesses and consumers, but the aid risks being dwarfed by the scale of the crisis.

With Russia squeezing gas deliveries and power-plant outages further sapping supply, wholesale energy prices have soared to more than 10 times their seasonal average over the past five years. Tensions have intensified as Moscow prepares to shut the key Nord Stream pipeline on Wednesday for maintenance, reviving concerns about a long-term halt that would threaten efforts to secure sufficient reserves for the winter.