BRUSSELS – The European Commission on Wednesday unveiled a 0 210 billion plan for Europe to end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2027 and use pivots away from Moscow to speed up its conversion to green energy.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Europe’s top gas supplier, has prompted the European Union to reconsider its energy policies amid growing concerns over supply shocks. Russia supplies 40% of the bloc’s gas and 27% of its imported oil, and EU countries are struggling to agree to further sanctions.
To help countries cut off these fuels, Brussels proposed a three-pronged plan: a switch to more non-Russian gas imports, a faster rollout of renewable energy and more efforts to save energy.
These measures include a mixture of EU law, non-binding schemes and recommendations to the governments of the 27 member states of the EU, which are primarily responsible for their national energy policy.
Taken together, Brussels expects that they will need an additional investment of 210 billion euros by 2027 and 300 billion euros by 2030, already needed to meet the bloc’s 2030 climate targets. Finally, it says investments will reduce Europe’s fossil fuel import bill.
These investments include 86 billion euros for renewable energy and 27 billion euros for hydrogen infrastructure, 29 billion euros for power grids and 56 billion euros for energy storage and heat pumps.
The commission said some investment would be needed in fossil fuel infrastructure – up to 10 billion euros for a dozen gas and liquefied natural gas projects and up to 2 billion euros for oil, targeting landlocked Central and Eastern European countries where there is no access. Russian supplies.
Brussels wants countries to finance the measures using the EU’s বিল 800 billion COVID-19 recovery fund and says it will also sell additional carbon market permits from a reserve in the next few years to raise 20 20 billion.
To advance the plans, the Commission proposed a higher legally binding goal of getting 45% of EU power from renewable sources by 2030, replacing its current 40% proposal.
It will see the EU’s renewable energy capacity more than double to 1,236 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, and will be supported by legislation allowing a simple one-year permit for wind and solar projects. The European Union has proposed a phased obligation for countries to fit new buildings, including solar panels.
Another goal is to reduce EU energy spending by 13% by 2030, in line with expectations, replacing its current 9% proposal. The EU is discussing legislation to speed up the renovation of buildings to use less energy and says that voluntary measures such as driving less or lowering the thermostat could reduce gas and oil demand by 5%.
Legally binding goals require the approval of EU countries and legislators.
The European Union’s plan includes a short-term dash for non-Russian gas supplies so that Europe buys 155 billion cubic meters from Moscow each year. Europe’s gas demand is expected to fall by 30% by 2030 to meet climate targets, but countries are currently relying on energy for housing, the power industry and power generation.
Individual companies – not the EU – are responsible for buying gas, but Brussels will introduce a scheme to allow countries to buy gas jointly. Experts say launching it would be complicated and probably would not help the short-term energy crisis.
The EU says it wants to produce 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030 and import another 10 million tonnes – which could be used to replace gas in the industry, to avoid locking in emissions years.
(Reporting by John Chalmers and David Evans, edited by Kate Abbott)