The European Commission on Tuesday proposed a plan to make Europe independent of fossil fuels from Russia “well before” 2030, according to a statement. The text says that the idea is to start this operation with gas, in the face of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The plan also outlines a series of measures to respond to the recent surge in energy prices in Europe and to replenish gas stocks in the upcoming domestic winter. The European Union notes that “Europe has been facing rising energy prices for several months, but now uncertainty over supply is exacerbating the problem.”
The REPowerEU program seeks to diversify gas offerings, accelerate the use of renewable gases and replace gas in heating and power generation. The bloc believes that this could reduce the European Union’s demand for Russian gas by two-thirds before the end of the year.
In the statement, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged the European Union to become independent from Russian oil, coal and gas. “We simply cannot trust a resource that is openly threatening to us,” she said, calling for diversification and a faster transition to renewable energy and hydrogen, along with increased energy efficiency.
The EU also says it will be in contact with member states to help companies affected by the energy crisis, particularly those facing rising energy costs. The European Commission plans to submit a legislative proposal for underground gas reserves in the European Union to be filled to at least 90% of capacity by October 1 of each year. According to the bloc, emergency measures to reduce the impact of gas price contagion on electricity, “such as temporary price limits”, will also be evaluated.
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