Energy crisis is a 'wake up call' for Europe to ditch fossil fuels

Power disaster is a ‘get up name’ for Europe to ditch fossil fuels

“This expertise right now of the rising power costs is a transparent get up name… that we must always speed up the transition to scrub power, wean ourselves off the fossil gasoline dependency,” a senior EU official advised reporters because the European Fee unveiled a sequence of measures aimed toward tackling the disaster.

The European Union is dealing with a pointy spike in power costs, pushed by elevated world demand because the world recovers from the pandemic and lower-than-expected pure fuel deliveries from Russia. Wholesale electrical energy costs have elevated by 200% in comparison with the 2019 common, in keeping with the European Fee.

“Winter is coming and for a lot of electrical energy prices are bigger than they’ve been for a decade,” Power Commissioner Kadri Simson advised reporters on Wednesday.

Wholesale fuel costs — which have surged to document highs in France, Spain, Germany and Italy — are anticipated to stay excessive by way of the winter. Costs are anticipated to fall within the spring, however stay increased than the typical of previous years, in keeping with the Fee. Most EU international locations depend on gas-fired energy stations to fulfill electrical energy demand, and about 40% of that fuel comes from Russia, in keeping with Eurostat.

Simson mentioned that the Fee’s preliminary evaluation signifies that Russia’s Gazprom has been fulfilling its long-term contracts “whereas offering little or no further provide.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised journalists on Wednesday that Russia has elevated fuel provides to Europe to the utmost potential stage beneath current contracts, however couldn’t exceed these thresholds. “We are able to say that Russia is flawlessly fulfilling all contractual obligations,” he mentioned.

Measures EU states can take to assist customers and companies deal with hovering electrical energy prices embrace emergency revenue assist to households to assist them pay their power payments, state assist for firms, and focused tax reductions. Member states also can briefly delay invoice funds and put in place processes to make sure that nobody is disconnected from the grid.

Inexperienced power the answer

The Fee additionally revealed a sequence of long run measures the bloc ought to think about to cut back its dependence on fossil fuels and deal with power value volatility.

“Our instant precedence is to guard Europe’s customers, particularly essentially the most weak,” Simson mentioned. “Second, we wish to make our power system higher ready and extra resilient, so we do not have to face an analogous state of affairs sooner or later,” she added.

This could require dashing up the inexperienced power transition reasonably than slowing it down, Simson mentioned. “We’re not dealing with an power value surge due to our local weather coverage or as a result of renewable power is pricey. We face it as a result of the fossil gasoline costs are spiking,” she continued.

“The one long run treatment in opposition to demand shocks and value volatility is a transition to a inexperienced power system.”

Simson mentioned she’s going to suggest to EU leaders a bundle of measures to decarbonize Europe’s fuel and hydrogen markets by 2050. Different measures to enhance power market stability may embrace rising fuel storage capability and shopping for fuel collectively at an EU stage.

— Katharina Krebs contributed reporting.

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