The European plan on rapid reduction on Russian fossil fuels, clean energy transition and industrial adaptation to different energy sources/supplies is called REPowerEU Plan. It was adopted a year ago as the EU response to energy market disruptions and a necessary provider for a huge shift in the whole EU energy system.
As to years’ account, there are some basic facts:
= EU-27 has dramatically cut imports of Russian pipeline gas, down to around 20 billion cubic meters this year. Russian monopoly on gas supply to Europe has turned to Norway and other external supplies. Even countries highly dependent on Russian gas, like Germany or landlocked Czechia, have announced that they are close to, or have completely phased-out Russian gas.
= Coal and oil imports are now banned by the Commission’s strong sanctions.
= Among most notable changes are those in the EU gas infrastructure. In less than one year, the EU is closer to establishing 23 LNG re-gasification terminals: eight new are already on the way to full operation which will boost the EU’s re-gasification capacity to some 227 bcm by 2024 from current 178 bcm. The EU’s total LNG imports were 80 bcm in 2021 and 135 bcm in 2022, going up 68%.
= Besides, importance of energy sources’ diversification, increased energy efficiency, reduced demand and acceleration of renewables are becoming vital too. For example, gas demand in Europe between during August 2022 and January 2023 is down by 42 bcm of gas, followed by wide deployment of renewables. It has ensured that –according to the European Green Deal transition – carbon emissions dropped during 2022 in Europe by 2.5%.
First, gas security of supply is still the priority: common storage policy and coordinated gas demand reduction will be needed also during 2023, as high temperatures and drought during summer can influence electricity production and consumption. Hence, the Commission intends to propose to the member states to prolong the voluntary demand reduction by 15% until next year; the measure worked well and it is the best guarantee to achieve an adequate level of storage by the start of winter season.
Second, is renewables: the member states have made great efforts to reach the EU’s goals; however, negative aspects are still persist, such as high prices, disruption in supply chains, red tape, etc. which are putting pressure on the EU’s renewables industry and putting at risk the states’ targets for deployment. In order to do better on the renewables in the REPowerEU plan, drive for renewables – as a home-grown, cheapest and cleanest form of energy production – shall be a priority during 2023 and the year after, underlined Commissioner K. Simson.
More in: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/SPEECH_23_1548