IEA unveils ten-point plan to reduce EU’s reliance on Russian natural gas

Europe has called for immediate action as its gas reserves are risking reaching the lowest levels by April

Big Zero Report 2022

Europe could reduce its imports of Russian natural gas by more than one-third within a year by implementing a ten-point plan.

On a media webinar, joined by ELN, the International Energy Agency presented measures that could help countries cut natural gas imports from Russia significantly within a year.

The key actions recommended in the IEA’s ten-point plan include not signing any new gas contracts with Russia, maximising gas supplies from other sources and accelerating the deployment of solar and wind.

It also urges governments and energy companies to make the most of existing energy sources, including nuclear and renewables.

Energy efficiency measures in homes and businesses could also help countries cut their reliance on Russian gas.

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said: “Nobody is under any illusions anymore. Russia’s use of its natural gas resources as an economic and political weapon show Europe needs to act quickly to be ready to face considerable uncertainty over Russian gas supplies next winter.”

Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, said: “The war in Ukraine has made our dependence on Russian gas supply and its risks painfully clear.

“We must set a priority objective to significantly reduce our independence on Russian gas. Gas storage is an important element of IEA plan. If current trends continue, the level of storage in Europe in April will be much lower than in previous years.

“And we need to start immediately to secure significant gas storage for next winter. So bringing it close to 90% and the European Commission will propose concrete measures next week in this regard.”

Barbara Pompili, Minister for Ecological Transition of France, said: “The Ukrainian grid is no longer connected with the Russian grid.

“We have asked the European transmission system operators to speed up the technical work for the connection of the Ukrainian grid to the European Network and we hope it can be done within 15 days.

“Ending our dependency on Russian fossil fuels and in fossil fuels, in general, is essential.”

In 2021, the European Union imported 155 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia,
accounting for around 45% of European gas imports and close to 40% of its total gas consumption.

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