This summer’s intense heat waves in Europe are helping make a bad energy problem worse.

High temperatures, combined with low rainfall in many parts of Europe, are both boosting demand for power and making some of it—particularly hydroelectric and nuclear power—more difficult to generate. That is forcing utilities to burn more coal and gas to keep up, complicating the continent’s efforts to cut back on Russian natural gas as Russian President Vladimir Putin is slowly turning off the spigot.

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