200 billion euros and a three-pillar plan: Europe’s recipe for getting rid of Russian oil and gas

Europe can evade Russian hydrocarbons by expensive acceleration but necessary for renewable energy. It is the basis of European Commission mapbaptized RePowerEU and presented this Wednesday.

The executive branch of the European Union is trying to bring together new and recycled proposals to shape a coherent plan that allows Europe to stop depending on russiaand not only from Russia, to warm up and start their industry.

Brussels had promised at the start of the war that the European Union would this year reduce 65% of its Russian hydrocarbon imports and that it doesn’t matter a drop in 2027. This plan seeks to deliver on that promise.

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European dependence on Russian gas

Economic impact of a possible restriction of gas imports from Russia.

Tap to explore data

»In points of GDP

Source: Economic Analysis Council
Infographics : Bugle

green transition

The project, costed in almost 200,000 million euros, but which should make it possible to save 92 billion euros per year by reducing hydrocarbon imports, he assures us that he is seeking to “rapidly reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

How? Accelerate the green transition and unite to get started a more resilient electrical system and a true Europe of energy”.

Brussels thinks it has found where the money would come from. Part of it would be obtained by auctioning carbon emission allowances (ETS: the money that polluting companies have to pay to be able to produce ) and the other party diverting part of the funds initially intended for the common Agricultural Policywhich currently swallows up almost a third of the EU budget.

The plan aims in practice kill three birds with one stone:

  • European dependence on Russian hydrocarbons.

The Commission came out this Wednesday in a storm. In addition to a speech by its President, Úrsula Von der Leyen, and press conferences by various Commissioners, there is a long list of some 15 documents, proposals for legislative changes and reports with eyes fixed on three blocks of measures:

  • Massive doping of renewable energies

The second point is one of those that lead new material. Brussels wants 45% of the energy consumed by the European Union in 2030, in less than 8 years, be of renewable origin. Until now, it was 40%. The European Parliament wants it to be 55%. Today it is 22%. 45% renewable energy means having 1,236 Gwh installed in 2030 while there are currently 511 Gwh.

Solar panels and wind turbines

Some European territories and especially some countries they have problems mass install solar panels and wind turbines due to public reluctance.

Some countries have difficulty in massively installing solar panels and wind turbines due to the reluctance of the population.  Photo: Gerard Julien / AFP)

Some countries have difficulty in massively installing solar panels and wind turbines due to the reluctance of the population. Photo: Gerard Julien / AFP)

The Commission plans to define, in coordination with the governments, a European map of the territories which would be allocated in the short, medium or long term to the installation of renewable energies. In these lands should be granted install permissions quickly without going through environmental impact studies.

It also wants to launch a plan to increase photovoltaic power until it has 500 Gwh installed by 2028 (300 Gwh more than today), including mandatory installation of solar panels from 2026 in all new buildings with more than 250 square meters of land and in all constructions, whatever their use and surface area, from 2030.

For this, he hopes to promote the European photovoltaic industry and reduce the dependence that Europe has today vis-à-vis chinese solar panels

Savings and energy efficiency would be achieved by reinforcing the obligations already imposed by the European directive on energy efficiency.

Brussels wants 45% of the energy consumed by the EU in 2030 to come from renewable sources.  Photo: AFP/Rodrigo Arangua

Brussels wants 45% of the energy consumed by the EU in 2030 to come from renewable sources. Photo: AFP/Rodrigo Arangua

The saving part is important. Brussels estimates that the European Union can reduce its total energy consumption by 13% by 2030. Until now, this directive set it at 9%. It also proposes an “energy savings plan” which aims to reduce energy demand by 5% in the short term.

The third block of measures is diversification of imports. To stop buying Russian hydrocarbons, you have to look another supplier at least in the short term while renewable energies are strengthened.

Brussels wants investments in interconnections, in regasification capacities and in energy infrastructure in general. He wants the European Union to approve an “international energy strategy” and one specially dedicated to the countries of the Persian Gulf.

The European Commission understands the need to increase regasification capacity (Germany has so far had no plants to regasify imported liquefied gas in LNG carriers), but he fears that building infrastructure will create a new dependency and he doesn’t want big spending that will take decades pay for itself because the long-term plan is to stop importing gas.

The solution that Brussels sees with its best eyes is the use of floating regasifiers, as the Balts already use it. Because the Commission continues to defend that measures to deal with the energy emergency must not run counter to measures aimed at curbing the climate crisis.

Short-term measures are also prepared anticipating Moscow cutting the gas supply and prices are skyrocketing.

The Commission considers that it is possible, in a market situation disrupted by such decisions, to establish a regulated price at European level for gas imports.

The European Union is responsible for more than one-third of global natural gas purchases, so you think you can set a maximum purchase price outside the market price and still have suppliers.

Brussels, special for Clarin