Brussels launches its grand plan to disconnect from Russian energy | International

The European Commission has launched this Wednesday an ambitious plan to close Russia’s energy tap in the shortest possible time. Driven by the urgency of a war whose consequences for security of supply and price volatility are unpredictable, the initiative is vast, global, and aims to solve problems in various corners of the continent. The proposal has many legs that go from the “massive” increase in investments in renewable energy (such as solar panels, one of the great bets of Brussels) to extraordinary measures to deal with the runaway rise in the electricity bill. There will be joint purchases of gas in international markets and financing of up to 2,000 million euros in oil infrastructures that will allow the veto to the embargo of this hydrocarbon that some countries (such as Hungary) continue to propose and that has become the great problem of head of the Twenty-seven these past few weeks.

The Community Executive also opens the door to the imposition of a regulated price at the community level for gas imports in the event of a scenario of total disruption of the flow from Russia, a hypothesis whose shadow terrifies Brussels. It will also allow other EU countries, such as Italy, to apply for the so-called “Iberian exception”, the mechanism that has allowed two countries with little interconnection with the community electricity market (Spain and Portugal) to extraordinary limit the price of gas.

“Putin’s war is seriously disturbing the world energy market,” the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, assured this Wednesday during an appearance. “It shows how dependent we are on imported fossil fuels. But also how vulnerable we are by relying on Russia to import our fossil fuels. That is why we must reduce our energy dependency on Russia as quickly as possible.”

A green transition

The head of the Executive branch of the EU has indicated that the Twenty-seven are already on the right track: Russian gas imports have been reduced from 40% in 2021 to 26% in April this year. In addition, she has explained that the Commission’s proposal revolves around one of the most ambitious plans of her mandate, the so-called green pact. Von der Leyen has assured that the initiative launched this Wednesday raises this proposal “to another level”.

The call REpower UK It is based on several formulas: saving energy and reducing consumption, accelerating the disconnection from fossil fuels, the search for new energy suppliers and “massive” investments to fuel this transition, which includes green hydrogen projects , called to be one of the great energy resources to replace gas by the year 2030.

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Brussels intends to connect this financing with the multimillion-dollar recovery funds approved to alleviate the blow of the pandemic in the European economies, which already allocated just over a third of their investments to the green transition. Brussels intends to mobilize around 300,000 million euros (about 72,000 million in subsidies and 225,000 million in loans). This figure includes financing for specific projects to overcome in the immediate term the bottlenecks in the infrastructure for the supply of gas and liquefied natural gas from new sources “so that no Member State is left out in the cold”, in the words of Von der They read.

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