EU ‘sleepwalking’ into energy crisis as Putin turns screw further on gas supplies | Science | News

It comes as gas flow from the Yamal -Europe was diverted to the East for the fifteenth day straight on Tuesday, depriving the EU of much-needed supplies. The result saw gas European prices skyrocket by 30 percent, which comes after record high prices were reached in previous months. And this is not the first time that the Russian President has decided to squeeze Europe’s gas supplies and hike up prices as a result.

According to Bloomberg’s article, “Europe Sleepwalked Into an Energy Crisis That Could Last Years”, Mr Putin caught the EU off guard as the bloc looked to transition to cleaner energy sources, forgetting about gas in the process.

Maximo Miccinilli, head of energy and climate at consultants FleishmanHillard EU said: “The energy crisis hit the bloc when the security of supply was not on the menu of EU policymakers.”

Instead, member states throughout the bloc have been shutting down coal-fired electricity plants and instead of turning their focus to renewable energy sources.

But Europe, in its drive to rely more heavily on wind energy, was not prepared for the poor weather conditions that saw wind-generated power slashed across the bloc last winter.

This left room for Russia, which provides around 40 percent of Europe’s gas, to use the energy source as leverage.

For instance, Mr Putin has been pushing to speed up certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The pipeline, which has been hit with delays, will see gas transited from Russia to Germany, bypassing Poland and Ukraine.

The Kremlin has been accused of deliberately withholding Europe’s gas supplies to put an end to delays and get the pipeline approved.

But despite Moscow’s control of the European energy market becoming more apparent, the EU has refused to cave.

Back in July 2021, the European Commission unveiled an ambitious package to transition to clean energy to tackle the climate emergency.

READ MORE: Putin’s spy rocket set to crash back to Earth this week

Reporters at Bloomberg claim that “with energy policy largely in the hands of member states, EU officials lack the authority to compel national governments to replenish gas inventories more quickly”.

Dr Thomas O’Donnell, Hertie School of Governance told that Russia could easily offer Europe a way out of the crisis if it wanted to.

He said: “If Putin wanted to assist Europe at present with alleviating its dangerously low levels of gas storage – which could well run dry if the winter is cold and the wind does not blow sufficiently for the windmills – he would take the spot market contracts being offered and flood gas across the Yamal-Europe pipeline (via Belarus-Poland into Germany and the EU) and/or via the huge unused pipelines that cross Ukraine.

“These systems are virtually unused by Moscow at present an offer at least three-to-four times the volume of Nord Stream 2.”

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