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REPowerEU aims to eliminate Europe’s dependence on Russian energy

The surge in energy prices and high volatility seen since last autumn already triggered calls last year for reducing our dependence on energy imports. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has taken this debate further and prompted strategic EU policy changes

REPowerEU aims to eliminate Europe’s dependence on Russian energy

Brussels, April 21 - Neftegaz.RU. In 2021, the EU imported more than 40% of its total gas consumption, 27% of oil imports and 46% of coal imports from Russia.
Energy represented 62% of EU total imports from Russia, and cost €99 billion.

Although it represents a significant drop in comparison with 2011, when energy represented almost 77% of EU imports from Russia (equivalent to €148 billion), the EU is taking further measures to cut its dependence on Russian energy imports.

On March 8, the Commission published its REPowerEU plan, outlining measures to drastically reduce Russian gas imports from its 2021 level of 155 bcm before the end of this year – and reach complete independence from Russian fossil fuels well before the end of the decade.

In 2021, 43.5% of the EU’s natural gas imports came from Russia, but there were also significant volumes that came from Norway (23.6%), Algeria (12.6%) and the US (6.6%).

Further accelerating the upgrade and extension of LNG infrastructure and diversifying sources and routes of pipeline gas are a priority to make the EU energy system more resilient.

2 weeks after the Commission outlined the RePower EU concept, the US committed to increasing its LNG export volumes for the EU market with an additional 15 bcm this year, and up to 50 bcm annually by 2030.

Gas storage facilities are another instrumental element to EU security of supply as they provide back-up volumes in case of strong demand or supply disruptions.
They account for between 25% and 30% of the gas consumed in winter.

Following Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, the Gas Coordination Group estimated that the biggest threat to security of supply would come from the failure to restock gas storage facilities ahead of next winter.

The roposal includes a requirement for EU countries to ensure that the storage infrastructures in their territories are filled up to at least 90% of their capacity by 1 November each year, and to 80% this year.

The other 2 priorities to reduce dependence on imports identified under the RePower EU concept are already the 2 central pillars of EU energy policy: ramping up renewables and boosting energy efficiency.

Building upon the outlined REPowerEU concept, legislative proposals and budgetary support to further reduce the EU’s dependence on imports of Russian fossil fuels are expected in the near future.

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