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

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

“This expertise in the present day of the rising power costs is a transparent get up name… that we must always speed up the transition to wash power, wean ourselves off the fossil gasoline dependency,” a senior EU official instructed reporters because the European Fee unveiled a collection of measures geared toward tackling the disaster.

The European Union is going through a pointy spike in energy prices, 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 accordance with the European Fee.

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

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

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

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

Measures EU states can take to assist customers and companies deal with hovering electrical energy prices embody emergency revenue help to households to assist them pay their power payments, state help for firms, and focused tax reductions. Member states also can quickly 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 printed a collection of long term measures the bloc ought to contemplate to cut back its dependence on fossil fuels and deal with power worth volatility.

“Our quick precedence is to guard Europe’s customers, particularly probably the most susceptible,” Simson stated. “Second, we wish to make our power system higher ready and extra resilient, so we do not have to face the same state of affairs sooner or later,” she added.

This might require rushing up the inexperienced power transition reasonably than slowing it down, Simson stated. “We’re not going through an power worth surge due to our local weather coverage or as a result of renewable power is dear. 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 worth volatility is a transition to a inexperienced power system.”

Simson stated 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 might embody rising fuel storage capability and shopping for fuel collectively at an EU degree.

— Katharina Krebs contributed reporting.