Sunday 25th of September 2022

from green to brown then black….

The EU must not revert to using coal and neglect its climate change goals in order to replace Russian gas, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said.

“We have to make sure that we use this crisis to move forward and not to have a backsliding on the dirty fossil fuels,” von der Leyen told the Financial Times on Monday.

“It’s a fine line and it’s not determined whether we are going to take the right turn.”

Von der Leyen said EU nations need to continue “massive investment in renewables.” 

She added that Brussels has “emergency steps in place” to respond to the threat of decreasing supplies from Russia, such as energy conservation and prioritizing which industries receive gas.

In March, the commission announced the goal of phasing out Russian gas by 2030. The decision was made as part of sanctions over Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, which was launched in late February.


EU members such as Germany, however, have repeatedly warned that an immediate ban on Russian energy will badly hurt their economies.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Sunday that coal-fired power plants have to be used instead of gas to generate electricity, and more gas must be pumped into storage facilities. “Otherwise, it will be really tight in winter,”he said. “That’s bitter, but it’s simply necessary in this situation to lower gas usage.”

Habeck’s comments appear to be a stark departure from the climate change plan unveiled by the government in January, in which Germany’s share of renewable energy is to increase to 80% by 2030.

His statement came after Russian gas company Gazprom announced last week that it was reducing the flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for technical reasons. The Netherlands said on Monday that it would also lift restrictions on coal-burning. A similar plan was rolled out by Austria.





not hot enough…..

Czech Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security Vaclav Bartuška has promised his country will do everything in its power to generate heat and electricity if gas supplies run low this winter.

“We basically have a repeat of the 1973 oil shock … If there is a gas cut out this winter, we will burn anything we can to keep our people warm and to make electricity,” Bartuška said on Monday, speaking to Brussels-based journalists, as cited by Euractiv. His comments came ahead of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU, which begins on July 1st and will last six months.

According to the official, it is still possible to provide the EU with gas before the heating season if European countries sign long-term contracts with LNG suppliers. The European Commission has been uneager to sign them in the past, but, according to Bartuška, the situation has changed.

“You would not hear that from the commissioner a year ago, or half a year ago, or four months ago. There’s a clear understanding on their side that the member states need to survive, the governments need to survive the winter,” he stated.

Bartuška added that, during his country’s EU presidency, the bloc’s main goal will be to fill gas storage facilities with enough supplies in the run-up to the winter heating season. Prague will also focus on promoting joint purchases of gas and intends to fast-forward the implementation of the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan, which is set to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian gas by two thirds before the end of the year and push the EU's transition to ‘green’ energy. 

According to the ambassador, the latter move has already been set in motion, and the soaring energy prices and political troubles can actually help the EU achieve its climate targets.

“Many decisions are made by people themselves. Do you think people will buy gas heaters at the moment? Probably not,” he stated, adding that his country has recently seen a “huge increase” in the number of heat pumps and solar collectors installed in the Czech Republic over the past several months.

“The transition will be hard and complicated, but we will win. And the winners will be green technologies. It will just take some time and, five years from now, we will be basically asking why we burned natural gas to make electricity.”








It appears that Global Warming is still noot hot enough......



emergency plan…...


Germany is preparing to enter the second phase in its gas emergency plan within five to 10 days, Die Welt reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The so-called “alarm phase” is triggered when there “is a disruption in the gas supply or an exceptionally high demand for gas which leads to a significant deterioration of the gas supply situation, but the market is still able to cope with this disruption or demand without the need to take non-market based measures,”according to the German Economic Ministry's 3-stage plan.

The Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries refused to confirm or deny whether the next step of the emergency plan was due to take effect when asked by Die Welt.

Gas regulator Bundesnetzagentur has recently outlined details of an auction system to be debuted in coming weeks aimed at reducing gas consumption among manufacturers. The agency’s head has expressed concern that current gas supplies will last Germany through the winter. At the same time, the CEO of Germany’s largest energy utility, Markus Krebber, hinted at an apocalyptic scenario as “there is currently no plan… at European level” to “redistribute the gas if we were fully cut off.”

If imposed, the measures will allow utilities to pass on gas costs to consumers. While it is unclear how high those price increases will be, one source suggests the average three-person household could face an increase as high as €2,000.

The price of fuel has skyrocketed in recent months following the launch of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, which led the EU to impose massive sanctions on Moscow. However, while those sanctions were intended to punish Moscow economically, they have had the reverse effect, increasingly affecting European families. A recent poll found as many as one in six Germans reported skipping meals to make ends meet.










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