Making artificial snow has become more expensive than ever (and that’s a drama for winter sports)

Making artificial snow has become more expensive than ever (and that's a drama for winter sports)

When? on February 24 Russia advanced towards Ukraine by deploying its forces in the Donbas and launching attacks in other key cities of the country such as Kyiv or Mariupol, the results of which were to be expected. Many and many edges. However, months later and at the doorsteps of winter, it was necessary to read the scenario very well to suspect one of the effects it now threatens: the lack of snow on European ski slopes due to lack of snow. energy crisis.

And, of course, the effect this has on winter sports.

Snow… and electricity. In order to provide a good service, slopes, stations and other facilities dedicated to winter sports must meet certain conditions. And meeting them in turn requires a lot of energy, a trait that is not particularly desirable in the midst of an energy crisis. breaking electric records In recent months, the closure of Russian gas supplies and the collapse of European institutions savings strategies.

Sächsische SZ gives a pretty clear idea What this dependency means in hard-earned euros or Kw: 300,000 cubic meters artificial snow At the Bavarian Garmisch-Partenkirchen station it cost about 1.35m euros two years ago; and from there just a few hours’ drive, at the Erfut pavilion in the province of Turingen, ice production requires an energy distribution, with the final balance set at 150,000 euros per year.

Concern in the industry. What does it translate to? In unrest. “Winter already worries us”, Recognizes Thomas WeikertPresident of the German Olympic Sports Confederation: “Rising energy costs are a threat to the existence of clubs”. Federal Minister of Economy Christian Linder admitted on his social networks that he receives letters from sports clubs asking for help on a daily basis. The situation is not simple. It is estimated that freezing bobsleigh tracks requires the energy they consume. approximately 250 homes per year.

Already felt effects. Indeed, such a scenario already leaves consequences. Ski resort at the end of September Alleghe’s ad He resigned from the Skicross World Cup scheduled for December due to high electricity costs. Even the Fédération Internationale de Ski (Fis) came to confess He said the energy crisis could lead to cancellations. The cost of snow production and lighting is particularly heavy.

At other facilities, such as the Oberstdorf ski jumping centre, the supply contract was directly revised: from a fixed price to a monthly contract calculated based on daily electricity costs. Säcsische Sz at the point the impact of the increase in costs on old and outdated facilities.

Earrings in Spain. Not all messages of concern come from central or northern Europe. In September, Aragon ski resorts realized the “major impact” the crisis would have on their activities. “We don’t know what will happen. Costs have increased by nearly 100%”, pointed reporter Astún deputy director: “We are preparing an energy-saving plan, but we cannot cut electricity or artificial snow production on chairlifts. There’s little room.”

Other executives of the sector had the same effect on artificial profit. Panarotta 2002 ski resort in Italy, with 18 kilometers of slopes guaranteed by artificial snow, already announced accounts are not working. “There are so many unknowns” central ditch. The scenario is complex, at least accordingly, especially given the increasing weight of artificially generated snow in the industry. predictions from the University of Waterloo.

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