Europe Seeks to Diversify Renewable Energy Sources to Achieve Climate Goals

Europe Seeks to Diversify Renewable Energy Sources to Achieve Climate Goals

Until now, Russia is not yet done curbing its gas supply across Europe. This is why Europe is diversifying its renewable energy sources. However, the wind and solar energy distribution in the European Union are not advancing sufficiently fast to suffice the global climate objectives because of the stalled permitting system.

Achieving the Goal by Diversifying Renewable Energy Sources

To achieve the goal, the EU must add 76 gigawatts more renewable energy sources by 2026. This is to regulate warming to 1.5°C. However, the independent climate research organization, Ember, shows that only 38 gigawatts will be utilized in the coming four years.

“Europe no longer lacks renewables ambition, but it is now facing an implementation gap. Higher targets have not yet translated into accelerated deployment on the ground,” said Ember analyst Harriet Fox.

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

The bloc, which consists of 27 countries seeks to diversify renewable energy sources as Russian gas deliveries continue to slow down. Additionally, the EU organized a feasibility plan to try and restrict energy consumption when winter comes.

The wind supply has been reduced, and only adds an average of 10 GW every year since 2018. It will only achieve the 54% growth needed in 2026. Interruptions in wind power burden more on electricity generation mix than downtimes to solar energy because of its higher expanse factor. It means that every gigawatt of wind converts to more generation of electricity than solar.

According to Ember, slow consent progress is one of the major reasons for the delay. It would take over two years to do spatial development, and acquire construction permits.

Moreover, it involves doing environmental tests and connecting to the grid. In Romania, it can take two and a half years, and ten years in Croatia. However, the EU legislation specifies that the permit granting procedure must not go beyond two years for member states.

Cutting on Natural-Gas Consumption

Europe will cut its natural-gas consumption by 15% starting in August due to Russia’s gas supply cutoff. They will instead endure economic drawbacks to prevent more extensive contraction in the long run. It will become compulsory in the case of an emergency.

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

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

Since Russia has the largest natural gas reserve in the world, it’s no wonder that Europe became dependent on the said country. Poland started importing in the 1940s and in the 1960s, they positioned pipelines for transporting fuel to and through satellite states.

However, when the Soviet Union separated, Moscow and Kyiv disputed over pipelines through Ukrainian territory. This leads Russian authorities to look for other channels. Nevertheless, Europe remained dependent on Russian gas. The fuel is often more affordable than alternatives, even when Moscow seized Crimea in 2014.

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

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