REPowerEU: plan to phase out Russian gas and oil presented by the European Commission

The European Commission has presented a plan to phase out Russian gas and oil called REPowerEU. Information and analytical company presents the details.

Deutsche Welle found out when the EU will become independent from Russia, what measures the EC plan envisages, and how everyone can help in its implementation.

Russia has been the largest source of gas, oil and coal for many years. After its attack on Ukraine, the European Union decided to give up Russian energy carriers as soon as possible. This should deprive Moscow of the money with which it finances the war, as well as strengthen the energy security of Europe, which no longer sees Russia as a reliable supplier. How can this be done if Russia has been the largest source of gas, oil and coal for many years?

Answer a difficult question DWthe European Commission tried, presenting on May 18 a plan to phase out energy from Russia, called REPower EU. EC Vice President Frans Timmermans said at a press conference in Brussels:

“It is clear that we need to end this dependency as soon as possible, and much sooner than we envisaged before this war. REPowerEU is a plan to save energy, produce clean energy and diversify our energy supply.”

The REPowerEU document does not specifically specify how quickly the goals can be achieved, but indicates that “substantially earlier” than 2030. Forecasts for the current year are as follows:

  • Coal from Russia to EU it will not be possible to deliver from August 10, it was finally decided.
  • It is proposed to abandon oil before the end of the year (with an additional period for the countries of Central Europe that do not have access to the sea).
  • Reduce gas supplies by a factor of three by the end of the year – from 3 billion cubic meters per week to 1 billion.

According to DW sources in the European Commission, it is possible to completely abandon Russian gas before 2026-27, but “things can go both faster and slower.”

REPowerEU runs until 2027, when the current seven-year budget period ends in the EU. The plan includes measures in three areas: supply diversification, energy savings and green energy.

In 2021, the EU purchased 155 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia. According to the EC, 60 of them can be replaced by purchases from other suppliers: 10 billion cubic meters of pipeline gas and 50 billion cubic meters of liquefied gas. Among the sellers are Azerbaijan, Norway, Qatar, Israel, Egypt, Algeria and a number of other African states.

An important role is played general procurement gas, for which a platform has already been created. Participation is voluntary and open to all countries of the energy community, including Ukraine. The EC is developing a common procurement mechanism with an extremely simple idea: large volumes of gas make it possible to obtain more attractive prices. However, it is necessary that the EU states stop competing with each other for the same volumes of gas.

Ukraine can also help the European Union in reducing gas consumption. First of all – the sale of excess electricity from Ukrainian nuclear power plants. Now, thanks to the recent synchronization of power systems, this has become possible. While between the European Union and Ukraine only electricity flows are allowed, but the EC called its trade “the next political priority.” The European Commission also wants to develop a plan REPowerUkraineto restore the energy system of Ukraine, decarbonize it and make it independent.

The REPowerEU plan provides for an energy saving campaign that will help reduce oil consumption by 16 million tons, gas – by 13 billion cubic meters per year. Timmermans says: “The cheapest energy is the one you haven’t used.”

Everyone can participate in the implementation of this plan: by regulating the temperature in the house, using the air conditioner only when there is a real need, using public transport or cycling more often than the car. Frans Timmermans rejects any regulatory action:

“I really want to leave this up to companies and citizens. I just want to inform you that by lowering the temperature in winter and not turning on the air conditioner too often in summer, you are taking money out of Putin’s pocket.”

Regarding the development of green energy. Now European legislation provides that in 2030 the share of renewable energy will be at least 32%. Last year, the EC wanted to increase the target to 40%, but now they are proposing to raise it to 45%. The main role is given to solar panels – they are easier and faster to install than, for example, windmills.

REPowerEU proposes to double the current capacity of solar panels by 2025, and to double it again by 2030. The EC wants to oblige the construction of all new buildings with the possibility of installing solar panels on them, they want to make their placement mandatory: for state and office buildings with a roof area of ​​​​more than 250 square meters – from 2026-27, and for all new residential buildings – from 2029 of the year.

How much investment will be needed to implement an ambitious plan? In total – about 300 billion euros, of which 210 billion should be invested by 2027. The EC reminds that the European Union annually pays about 100 billion euros to Russia for energy resources.

However, the Greeks, for example, are unhappy with the plan EU on the refusal of Russian energy resources, as shown by the conducted RIA Novosti poll of citizens. They consider this program untimely and fear that the proposed measures will inevitably lead to higher prices. Many believe that Brussels “every day makes life worse” by its actions.

In the meantime, the European Union has developed plan to buy Russian gaswithout violating the sanctions imposed against Russia. The European Commission has prepared updated recommendations for EU companies on the purchase and announced this, according to Bloomberg, at a closed meeting on May 13. They plan to prescribe that buyers of blue fuel can open an account in Gazprombank in euros or dollars (as required by the Russian Federation) and purchase gas in accordance with the sanctions imposed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The document will indicate that companies must clearly state: they consider their obligations fulfilled after the transfer of euros or dollars, and not after converting the currency into rubles.

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