Europe’s vitality provide is enough to get via the winter, however the Russian invasion of Ukraine has uncovered vulnerabilities that must be addressed, the European Union’s vitality commissioner stated Monday.
“We can not let any third nation destabilize our vitality markets or affect our vitality selections,” the commissioner, Kadri Simson, informed reporters after a joint assembly of European Union vitality ministers and the European Fee, the bloc’s govt arm, in Brussels.
She stated the Russian invasion “made our vulnerability painfully clear.” Russia offers almost 40 % of the European Union’s pure gasoline and greater than 25 % of its crude oil.
Subsequent week, the fee will current a long-awaited proposal on strengthening vitality independence, particularly from Russia. However the latest enhance of vitality costs, together with inflation extra usually, complicates that objective.
The technique is to diversify gasoline provides to scale back reliance on Russia within the quick time period, Ms. Simson stated, however finally to “increase renewables and vitality effectivity as quick as technically doable,” within the spirit of the European Union’s dedication to change into carbon-neutral by 2050.
A part of the technique is growing the capability for importing liquefied pure gasoline. The fee has been reaching out to a number of gasoline producers — together with the US, Qatar, Azerbaijan, Nigeria and Egypt — and to Japan and South Korea, to see whether or not they may redirect a few of their imported provides to Europe. E.U. imports of liquefied pure gasoline set a document in January.
The fee may even suggest a mechanism for voluntary discount of consumption, Ms. Simson stated, however she didn’t elaborate.
Individually, the bloc stepped up its work on synchronization of Moldova’s and Ukraine’s electrical energy grids with the European one “as quickly as doable” due to the Russian invasion.
“The political will is there — we’ve got to assist Ukraine,” stated France’s minister for ecological transition, Barbara Pompili. “They’re at a danger of a blackout, which might have very heavy penalties.”
Member nations additionally stand able to launch their strategic oil reserves if wanted, Ms. Simson stated. All E.U. nations are members of the Worldwide Power Company, and they’re obliged to carry at the very least 90 days of oil reserves. If provides are severely disrupted, they’ll resolve to launch their shares to the market.