As the war in Ukraine protracts, and as Vladimir Putin is delaying the repair of a gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 that stands currently as Russia’s biggest pipeline to Europe, the EU races to find alternative energy sources. In the blanketing winter that engulfs Europe this season, the energy crisis blights homes across Europe that are subject to blackouts and energy rationing. Seeing as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will be prolonged, the only viable solution is to find alternative energy sources.
Abandoning all commitments to reduce the usage of coal, (a rather detrimental air pollutant), desperation has coerced Europeans to resort to the use of coal. However it is a convenient resource, widely available and can be used immediately in power plants. Germany pledged to eliminate coal usage but in a bitter reversal of commitments, Germany is now working towards reducing its reliance on gas by mid-2024. Similarly, despite the fact that coal is aggressively harmful for the atmosphere, France and the Netherlands have removed their production caps on coal power.
The gravest danger that Europe faces now is its weighty reliance on Russian gas; as of this year 155 billion cubic meters of natural gas was imported from Russia. However given the need to find alternatives, as of this year, Norway is competing with Russia for the position of largest piped gas supplier in Europe, and Norway has opened a new pipeline to Poland in October.
With Putin’s growing animosity towards the west and the growing membership of NATO, it is only prudent that the EU divert their attention towards developing renewable energy. The EU has therefore designed an ambitious plan for renewable energy that will not only reduce emissions but also decrease Europe’s reliance on Russian energy. The plan titled RePowerEU sets the objective of having 45% of the bloc’s energy coming from renewable energy by 2030. The objective here is to beat the energy crisis; which means finding alternative energy sources in tandem with effectively dealing with the soaring prices of gas