Here is some context around the entire situation...
Keep in mind that all contractual obligations are being fulfilled by the Russians.
The Europeans started moving away from LTC (Long-term Contracts) somewhere around 2014, albeit many still have existing ones.
Normally natural gas trades around the €5 - €20 per MWh range. The Europeans (under the influence of Poland) decided that they can pay less under the spot market.
For context, today natural gas futures are (per MWh, Dutch TTF Futures): JAN22 - €158, FEB22 - €157, MAR22 - €143, Q2 '22 - €98, Q3 '22 - €96, Q4 '22 €97. Speculation is likely to drive the prices higher if no good news on Nord Stream 2 comes out.
Naturally, we must start to wonder how we arrived at such prices given that Russia is fulfilling its contractual obligations...
There are several key factors: a) Low wind across all of Europe b) Phasing out of nuclear/coal and other fossil fuel energy sources c) Nat. gas deliveries record low due to the pandemic, amid incorrect expectations.
And there you have it... this has nothing to do with Russia!
(The media will tell you otherwise though)
Now about the current situation...
The European power market is completely fucked. Here is a very simple example:
Power costs in Germany are headed for the highest levels in at least two decades this winter in a sign of what soaring fuel and carbon permit prices are having on Europe’s biggest electricity market.
German power futures for the fourth quarter are trading above 100 euros per megawatt-hour, twice the rate of last year and almost 50% more than the highest historical average daily price for the period in data going back to 2000.
That is an article from August 2021. It's sitting at around €216
per MWh now and predictions are €208 Q2 '22. Expect additional market speculation throughout the end of '21 all the way until Q3/Q4 '22
It's beyond me what they are going to do if this actually lasts an additional year. As a simple example, when the spot market was trading at €44.74 per MWh my electricity provider had a rate of €137 per MWh. Now it's at €208 per MWh. The reason it only increased 51% compared to ~500% is that the government here decided to 'equal out the prices across several years'. This comes with a problem as the 'independent' providers have to take out bank loans to cover the difference in the meantime. The amount of bank loans you're able to take out is limited. Either the government is going to start to subsidize energy prices or they'll skyrocket if the trend continues.