The European Union will “phase out” its dependence on Russian methane gas, oil, and coal imports in a plan to be unveiled today to insulate against energy and geopolitical insecurity. The proposal could see Russian import needs cut by almost 80% this year. The plan seeks to increase methane gas imports from other countries, while accelerating the expansion of renewable energy sources like wind and solar energy, as well as improved energy efficiency.
“Hindsight is a great thing, but we should have all taken climate, renewable energy policies and energy efficiency much, much more seriously than we did,” Peter Vis, senior adviser at Rud Pedersen Public Affairs in Brussels and a former top official at the EU Commission, told Bloomberg. The U.S., the world’s largest LNG exporter, cannot significantly increase gas exports without building new terminals (a complicated, expensive, and multi-year process) and U.S. producers are expected to keep extraction at current levels to reap the profits brought by skyrocketing prices. (EU plans: Reuters, Bloomberg $, Reuters, Politico EU, Energy Monitor, Wall Street Journal $; Need for more renewables: Bloomberg $; U.S. drilling: E&E News)