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

2021-10-13 17:38:59

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

The European Union is dealing with a pointy spike in vitality 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, based on 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 document highs in France, Spain, Germany and Italy — are anticipated to stay excessive by means of the winter. Costs are anticipated to fall within the spring, however stay increased than the typical of previous years, based on the Fee. Most EU nations depend on gas-fired energy stations to fulfill electrical energy demand, and about 40% of that fuel comes from Russia, based on 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 extra provide.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov instructed journalists on Wednesday that Russia has elevated fuel provides to Europe to the utmost potential degree below current contracts, however couldn’t exceed these thresholds. “We will 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 vitality payments, state support for corporations, and focused tax reductions. Member states can even briefly delay invoice funds and put in place processes to make sure that nobody is disconnected from the grid.

Inexperienced vitality the answer

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

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

This might require dashing up the inexperienced vitality transition moderately than slowing it down, Simson mentioned. “We aren’t dealing with an vitality value surge due to our local weather coverage or as a result of renewable vitality 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 vitality system.”

Simson mentioned she’s going to suggest to EU leaders a package deal of measures to decarbonize Europe’s fuel and hydrogen markets by 2050. Different measures to enhance vitality market stability might embrace rising fuel storage capability and shopping for fuel collectively at an EU degree.

— Katharina Krebs contributed reporting.

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