- Europe has been aggressively pursuing a clean energy future and the end of fossil fuels, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the shortcomings of renewables.
- The soaring prices of key metals and the length of time it takes to implement renewable energy projects have meant Europe is turning to fossil fuels to solve its energy crisis.
- The EU is planning to replace Russian gas with LNG imports, coal, and even fuel oil, with a relatively small amount of the gas to be replaced by wind and solar.
Germany is preparing for gas rationing. France’s power grid operator is asking consumers to use less electricity. In the UK, protests are breaking out over the latest electricity price hike that plunged millions of households into what one local think tank called fuel stress. Europe has a serious energy problem.
The problem dates back years and points to a persistent complacency on the part of European governments that whatever happens, there will always be gas from Russia. After all, even during the Cold War Russia pumped billions of cubic meters of gas to European countries. Now, things are different, and it’s not just because of the war in Ukraine.
Europe has been enthusiastically trying to reduce its dependence on all fossil fuels, not just Russian gas, for a few years now. The EU recently boasted that in 2022 renewable energy sources accounted for 37.5 percent of gross electricity consumption, with wind and hydro constituting two-thirds of the total renewable energy output. Why, then, one wonders, would Germany have to brace for gas rationing and France ask its citizens to consume less electricity? Now that has a bit to do with the war in Ukraine…
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