Russia’s war in Ukraine also threatens Europe’s energy shift

Of the many questions posed by Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, the actual energy conversion questions asked by European countries are particularly noteworthy. Despite increasing sanctions from Western countries, it is clear that 27 continues to supply abundant oil, coal and other gases from Russia. In fact, if fossil fuels still account for more than 70% of the final energy consumption of the Old World, it would be difficult to do factory operations, home heating, transportation operations, etc. overnight without it.

In this context, can the desire to disconnect the code with Moscow encourage Europe to move away from it sooner? A priori, the increased cost of these hydrocarbons is associated with tensions that place importance on their supply, making them unattractive anyway. Still, in reality, the situation does not always benefit the energy sources with the lowest carbon intensity. The exact opposite.

Increased local coal mining

This is because gas prices have historically reached high levels and nuclear and renewable energy facilities are not sufficient in the short to medium term. The European Union will surely reopen coal-fired power plants on its territory to produce electricity », Director Jack Perseboa explains Energy Economic Law Research Center (CREDEN).. And this is even if the European Commission recently labeled gas as “green” in its classification to guide investors to this activity. ” Of the transition “.

“The fact that Brussels’ sustainable financing package contains gas can work to attract capital and fund gas-fired power plants only if the gas supply is safe. This is not the case in today’s conflict between Russia and Ukraine, “said Jack Perseboa.

Therefore, in Germany, «In Brandenburg [où une exploitation minière à ciel ouvert permet d’extraire du lignite, ndlr]We already say we need to improve our ability to deal with the crisis »Shows Thomas Pererin Carlin, director of the Jacques Delors Institute’s Energy Center and co-author of a recent memo on the German energy transition. But even if it is produced locally and allows Europe to gain independence, lignite is the most polluted fuel of all.

Expansion of nuclear power: Taboo collapse in Germany facing the threat of Russia

Energy sovereignty

Under these conditions, “ The fight against global warming will definitely be in the backseat “Jack Perseboa says, because the urgency associated with the geopolitical situation is now pushing another major aspect of energy policy to the fore, which is the aspect of national sovereignty in the region.” The price you pay will be the additional CO2 emissions », I regret the economist.

“Traditionally, European countries are trying to coordinate three energy goals: respect for the environment, safety of supply and competitiveness. From 2019 onwards, the European Commission’s Green Deal leaves the climate on paper. It seemed to dominate the part of. Today we can clearly see that things have changed, “Agrees Thomas Pererin Carlin.

Does it include demand?

Faced with these challenges, implementing measures to reduce energy demand can help both the climate and the safety of 27 supplies. Bruegel, a European think tank, announced on Monday, ” Preparation for the first winter without Russian gas It is also a condition Prerequisite I hope we can do it without our eastern neighbors by next winter. Record import »For example, liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States or Qatar. According to the document, on a continental scale, this calmness of consumer behavior could even allow it to “remove” up to 300 TWh of gas.

But at the political level, this concept remains partially taboo. So far, the general debate, including France, seems to focus on the energy efficiency made possible by technological advances, rather than questioning its use.

A big taboo “energy drinking” in the midst of soaring prices