EU signals turn to coal, accuses Russia of ‘rogue steps’ on gas

Pipes are photographed on the land touchdown amenities of the “Nord Stream 1” fuel pipeline in Lubmen, Germany, March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

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BRUSSELS/OSLO, June 22 (Reuters) – The European Union will briefly flip to coal to take care of dwindling Russian fuel flows with out derailing long-term local weather objectives, an EU official stated on Wednesday, as a decent fuel market and rising costs kicked off the race. for various fuels.

European leaders have turned to Russia as flows by the Nord Stream 1 pipeline have been reduce to solely 40% of capability, exacerbating an vitality disaster after the invasion of Ukraine prompted Europe to impose robust sanctions on Moscow.

To counter the fuel scarcity, the Worldwide Vitality Company (IEA) stated Europe ought to change Russian vitality provides whereas boosting effectivity and renewable vitality sources, together with nuclear energy. Learn extra

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And the pinnacle of the Worldwide Vitality Company, Fatih Birol, warned in an announcement to Reuters that Russia might proceed to search for excuses to chop provides or cease them fully as winter approaches. Russia denied that the availability cuts had been premeditated. Learn extra

Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have indicated that coal-fired energy crops can fill provide gaps, whilst Germany prepares to host a Group of Seven summit after reaffirming its dedication to bold local weather change objectives. Learn extra

A senior European Fee official stated Europe will briefly search to make use of fossil fuels options to Russian fuel in mild of President Vladimir Putin’s actions.

“The unlawful invasion of Ukraine by Russia has created a state of emergency within the European Union,” Elena Bardram, performing director of worldwide affairs and local weather finance on the European Fee, informed the African Vitality Discussion board in Brussels.

“With the very rogue strikes that we’re noticing from the Putin administration concerning Gazprom’s abrupt discount of stream, we’re taking some crucial actions, however all of those actions are short-term,” she added.

She stated the measures can be phased out as quickly as doable as a result of the EU was decided to stay to its local weather targets.

Bardram, who headed the European Fee delegation to the 2015 Paris local weather talks, added, “The EU’s 2030 and 2050 targets stay totally intact…Whereas we might briefly enhance our use of coal, the longer-term development is evident.”

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The international locations have outlined a collection of measures to deal with the availability crunch to handle issues about winter vitality shortages and rising inflation that would check Europe’s resolve to take care of sanctions on Russia.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner stated Tuesday night that there’s a danger of a critical financial disaster and pressured the necessity for options to beat three or extra years of vitality shortage.

A observe from the Royal Financial institution of Canada predicted that the speed of filling fuel storages would sluggish and governments would take measures to ease demand.

“Many international locations appear to be rethinking coal shutdown,” she stated, including, “We do not suppose the state of affairs might be rectified with supply-side measures solely, and we count on a major response from the demand facet.”

One other scorching spot within the vitality disaster may come within the Baltic states. President Gitanas Nosida has stated that Lithuania is prepared for Russia to close it down from a typical energy grid in response to blocking rail shipments of some Russian items to the Kaliningrad web site in Moscow. Learn extra

Russian fuel flows to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and deliveries by Ukraine stabilized on Wednesday, however remained considerably decrease than final week. Gazprom stated it might reduce flows by Nord Stream 1 final week, citing technical issues.

The benchmark fuel value in Europe was buying and selling at round €127 ($133) per megawatt-hour (MWh), beneath this 12 months’s peak of €335, however nonetheless greater than 300% above its degree a 12 months in the past.

Europe is scrambling to refill its winter fuel stockpile – now at 55% – because it fears additional disruptions to provides from Russia, which has already reduce off some prospects.

Lindner’s warning got here after German business affiliation BDI stated a recession in Europe’s largest financial system can be inevitable if Russia halted fuel deliveries. Learn extra

The European Union and different developed economies have imposed sanctions on Russian oil and coal however have stopped importing fuel.

The Worldwide Vitality Company stated supporting getting older nuclear infrastructure may present respite from excessive vitality costs and tight provides.

“In mild of the renewed curiosity within the function of nuclear vitality in clear vitality transitions, the warfare emphasised the necessity to discover choices…investing in new amenities along with reopening current (uranium) conversion crops.”

Extra broadly, the IEA stated the $2.4 trillion to be invested in vitality this 12 months consists of document spending on renewables, but it surely has failed to shut the availability hole and deal with local weather change.

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Extra reporting by Nina Chestney. Writing by Mathias Williams; Enhancing by Jason Neely and Elaine Hardcastle

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