Europe seeks to diversify renewable energy sources to meet climate goals

So far, Russia has not yet finished limiting its gas supply through Europe. This is why Europe is diversifying its renewable energy sources. However, the distribution of wind and solar energy in the European Union is not progressing fast enough to meet the global climate targets due to the blocking of the authorization system.

Achieve the goal by diversifying renewable energy sources

To achieve this goal, the EU must add 76 gigawatts of additional renewable energy sources by 2026. This is to regulate global warming to 1.5°C. However, independent climate research organization Ember shows that only 38 gigawatts will be used over the next four years.

“Europe no longer lacks ambition when it comes to renewable energy, but it now faces an implementation deficit. Higher goals have not yet translated into accelerated deployment on the ground,” said Ember analyst Harriet Fox.

The only countries expected to achieve a sufficiently high annual wind capacity are Croatia, Finland, Sweden and Lithuania.

The bloc, made up of 27 countries, is seeking to diversify renewable energy sources as deliveries of Russian gas continue to slow. In addition, the EU has organized a feasibility plan to try to limit energy consumption when winter arrives.

Wind supply has been reduced and has only added an average of 10 GW each year since 2018. It will only reach the 54% growth needed in 2026. Wind energy interruptions are further weighing on the production mix of electricity than solar downtime due to its higher expansion factor. This means that each gigawatt of wind energy is converted into more electricity production than solar energy.

According to Ember, the slow progress of consent is one of the main reasons for the delay. It would take more than two years to do space development and acquire building permits.

In addition, it involves doing environmental tests and connecting to the network. In Romania, it can take two and a half years, and ten years in Croatia. However, EU law specifies that the permitting process should not exceed two years for member states.

Reduction of natural gas consumption

Europe will reduce its natural gas consumption 15% from August due to the gas supply cut off from Russia. Instead, they will suffer economic disadvantages to avoid a larger contraction in the long term. It will become mandatory in case of emergency.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU drew up a plan to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds by the end of 2022. The ‘war crimes’ Russia has committed resulted in different penalties. Russian President Vladimir Putin retaliated by signing a decree requiring all buyers to pay in roubles, especially from “unfriendly” countries that started in April.

These countries must open special accounts with the Gazprombank JSC of Russia. They can use foreign currency and rubles for their payment when buying gas. However, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Poland refused to comply with Putin’s new terms and cut off their gas.

Since Russia has the largest reserve of natural gas in the world, it is not surprising that Europe has become dependent on the said country. Poland began importing in the 1940s, and in the 1960s it positioned pipelines to transport fuel to and through satellite states.

However, when the Soviet Union broke up, Moscow and Kyiv quarreled over pipelines crossing Ukrainian territory. This leads the Russian authorities to seek other channels. Nevertheless, Europe remained dependent on Russian gas. Fuel is often more affordable than alternatives, even when Moscow seized Crimea in 2014.

Image source: Kenueone/WikimediaCommons (Dedication to Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain)

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