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Energy crisis is a ‘wake up name’ for Europe to ditch fossil fuels

“This experience today of the rising energy prices is a clear wake up call… that we should accelerate the transition to clean energy, wean ourselves off the fossil fuel dependency,” a senior EU official informed reporters because the European Commission unveiled a sequence of measures aimed toward tackling the crisis.

The European Union is going through a sharp spike in vitality costs, pushed by elevated international demand because the world recovers from the pandemic and lower-than-expected pure gasoline deliveries from Russia. Wholesale electrical energy costs have elevated by 200% in contrast to the 2019 common, in accordance to the European Commission.

“Winter is coming and for many electricity costs are larger than they have been for a decade,” Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson informed reporters on Wednesday.

Wholesale gasoline costs — which have surged to file highs in France, Spain, Germany and Italy — are anticipated to stay excessive by the winter. Prices are anticipated to fall within the spring, however stay increased than the typical of previous years, in accordance to the Commission. Most EU nations depend on gas-fired energy stations to meet electrical energy demand, and about 40% of that gasoline comes from Russia, in accordance to Eurostat.

Simson mentioned that the Commission’s preliminary evaluation signifies that Russia’s Gazprom has been fulfilling its long-term contracts “while providing little or no additional supply.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed journalists on Wednesday that Russia has elevated gasoline provides to Europe to the utmost attainable degree underneath current contracts, however couldn’t exceed these thresholds. “We can say that Russia is flawlessly fulfilling all contractual obligations,” he mentioned.

Measures EU states can take to assist customers and companies address hovering electrical energy prices embrace emergency earnings assist to households to assist them pay their vitality payments, state support for firms, and focused tax reductions. Member states may also briefly delay invoice funds and put in place processes to be certain that nobody is disconnected from the grid.

Green vitality the answer

The Commission additionally revealed a sequence of long term measures the bloc ought to take into account to scale back its dependence on fossil fuels and deal with vitality worth volatility.

“Our immediate priority is to protect Europe’s consumers, especially the most vulnerable,” Simson mentioned. “Second, we want to make our energy system better prepared and more resilient, so we don’t have to face a similar situation in the future,” she added.

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This would require dashing up the inexperienced vitality transition fairly than slowing it down, Simson mentioned. “We are not facing an energy price surge because of our climate policy or because renewable energy is expensive. We are facing it because the fossil fuel prices are spiking,” she continued.

“The only long term remedy against demand shocks and price volatility is a transition to a green energy system.”

Simson mentioned she is going to suggest to EU leaders a bundle of measures to decarbonize Europe’s gasoline and hydrogen markets by 2050. Other measures to enhance vitality market stability might embrace growing gasoline storage capability and shopping for gasoline collectively at an EU degree.

— Katharina Krebs contributed reporting.



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