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25 April, 2024
 
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Putin's blackmail fails to halt green transition

EU dumps Russian gas for green power

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Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, stated on Tuesday that Vladimir Putin's attempts at "blackmail" have backfired, hastening the EU's shift toward green energy.

As Euronews reports, prior to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the EU heavily relied on Russian fossil fuels, particularly gas, obtained at low prices through extensive pipelines.

However, in response to the war, member states swiftly moved to sever ties with Russian fuels through sanctions on oil and coal, as well as national initiatives targeting gas imports. Von der Leyen revealed that just two years ago, one in five units of energy in the EU came from Russian fossil fuels, but today, it's down to one in twenty. She highlighted that renewables now surpass Russian energy sources in the EU, with wind and solar power generating more electricity than gas in 2023 for the first time ever.

Despite progress, von der Leyen stressed that global transition remains sluggish and urged nations to bolster renewable capacity, increase investment, and foster innovation. Emphasizing the shift from fossil fuel dependencies to inter-dependencies in clean energy, she called for collective action.

While the EU's reliance on Russian gas has significantly dropped from 45% in 2021 to 15% in 2023, it has not vanished entirely. Ongoing purchases of Russian gas by Europeans, particularly through pipelines and LNG terminals, have sparked tensions among member states. Austria's dependency rate on Russian gas surged to 98% in December, attributing the rise to a long-term contract between OMV and Gazprom until 2040. Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler criticized the slow pace of diversification, urging energy companies to reduce reliance on Russian gas promptly.

[With information sourced from Euronews]

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