Energy, the European Union and Russia

Russian demonstrators. Photo NY TimesThe ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia is an excellent occasion for the European Union to assess its dependence from foreign fossil fuels, especially oil and natural gas from the Russian Federation.

As Kees van der Leun noted on his Twitter last week, the EU buys to Russia over half a billion euros of oil and natural gas each day.  The amounts total over 200 billion euros ( $277 billion ) a year.

Here is more data : the European Union currently buys over six million barrels of oil per day to Russia, for an amount of over $600 million (430 million euros).

Additionally, last year Europe paid $61 billion (44 billion euros) to Russia for natural gas alone… Such figures make you wonder why we aren’t working more on renewables and energy efficiency…

The more the EU will be ambitious on its climate and energy package for 2030, the less it will be depending from Russia or other nations to power itself.

As an example of this Greenpeace UK have published estimates of how much gas imports – not only from Russia – could be slashed by 2030 according to various scenarios.

While imports would be decreased by a meagre 13.2% with a single 40 % emissions reduction, they could be slashed by 27% with more ambitious targets of 45 % emissions reduction coupled with a dual target of 35 % renewables and energy efficiency.

I wonder what these figures would look like with 50 % emissions reduction by 2030…

This is yet another reason to push forward even more energy efficiency and renewables.

2 thoughts on “Energy, the European Union and Russia”

  1. the blinders are off..if Russia decides to create trouble zones, the valves will shut down and Europe will grow cold and dark–computers may malfunction or kitchens send people to the vegetable market for raw lunch..
    we should have been prepared for such eventuality long ago..there is still plenty of wind and sun out there..
    energy is not the problem..extraction and power control are.

  2. Thanks for your comment Nadine 🙂

    I think the real problem is the relationship between money and power control. If there is collusion between the two, you are in troubled waters.

    I agree with you, we should have been prepared for such problems for such a looong time. Renewables are great, but energy efficiency is even better at solving our problems.

    Look at the old 100W incandescent light bulbs. Now you can get LED ones that will consume only a fraction of that for the same amount of light. And what happened for lights happened or could happen for everything.

    Let’s make it happen.

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