Energy crisis is a 'wake up call' 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 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 gasoline deliveries from Russia. Wholesale electrical energy costs have elevated by 200% in comparison with the 2019 common, in accordance with 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 via the winter. Prices are anticipated to fall within the spring, however stay increased than the typical of previous years, in accordance with the Commission. Most EU nations depend on gas-fired energy stations to satisfy electrical energy demand, and about 40% of that gasoline comes from Russia, in accordance with Eurostat.

Simson stated 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 beneath current contracts, however couldn’t exceed these thresholds. “We can 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 embrace emergency earnings assist to households to assist them pay their power payments, state assist for corporations, and focused tax reductions. Member states may briefly delay invoice funds and put in place processes to make sure that nobody is disconnected from the grid.

Green power the answer

The Commission 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 value volatility.

“Our immediate priority is to protect Europe’s consumers, especially the most vulnerable,” Simson stated. “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 rushing up the inexperienced power transition relatively than slowing it down, Simson stated. “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 stated she’s going to suggest to EU leaders a bundle of measures to decarbonize Europe’s gasoline and hydrogen markets by 2050. Other measures to enhance power market stability might embrace rising gasoline storage capability and shopping for gasoline collectively at an EU degree.

— Katharina Krebs contributed reporting.

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