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Europe can cope without Russian gas for next 20 years – study

Europe can cope without Russian gas for next 20 years – study

Date: May 23rd 2024

Author: Andreas Lochner, Montel

Category: En.vision

Topic: Natural gas

Europe’s energy supply outlook until 2045 is secure even if Russian gas imports drop to zero, a study by German think tank DIW showed on Thursday.

“Across the EU, Russia still covers about 14% of gas demand. But Germany and Europe can get through the coming decades without Russian imports, and that includes heavily Russian gas-dependent countries like Austria and Hungary,” said Franziska Holz, one of the study’s authors.

It comes after former Austrian regulator head Walter Boltz told Montel late on Wednesday that the country may see Russian gas deliveries end this summer, earlier than expected, following a warning by the country’s gas major OMV. But he added that Austria would find a way to compensate for the possible loss of supplies.

The analysis found that Europe would be able to cover demand with LNG imports, even if consumption stayed at present levels. However, it noted LNG import capacities may have to be expanded in Italy and Croatia, while existing LNG facilities in other parts of the continent would have to work at higher capacities.

Given that Europe was expected to achieve a net-zero economy in the medium- to long-term, DIW said that gas would eventually be phased out, which would make the construction of further LNG import capacity unnecessary. The EU has set a target to reach net zero by 2050.

Lower flows

The EU had held back on sanctioning Russian gas mainly due to central and eastern European countries’ continued dependence on the fuel, the study said.

However, earlier this week, EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson urged the bloc’s members to use new EU legislation to temporarily block Russian gas imports.

The new rules would allow national governments to temporarily limit bidding for capacity in natural gas grids and LNG import terminals at entry points from Russia and Belarus.

Russian gas pipeline supply to Europe has fallen to less than 10% of 2021 flows to Europe amid the fallout from the war in Ukraine.

The EU has committed to be independent of Russian fossil fuels by 2027 as part of its RePowerEU programme, which promotes renewables and energy efficiency as well as diversified energy suppliers.


This article is available also in Slovene.



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