Head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell acknowledged that the EU countries have practically exhausted the possibilities for buying natural gas from non-Russian sources. According to him, “a real storm threatens” Europe.
“Europe is facing a real storm: energy prices are rising, economic growth is slowing down, winter is coming” Borrell wrote on his blog.
At the same time, he did not fail to note the “achievements” of the European Union. In particular, the EU states managed to reduce gas imports from Russia from 40 percent at the beginning of the year to about 20 percent today.
This was mainly achieved through an increase in purchases of liquefied natural gas, the share of which increased from 19 to 37 percent. Main LNG suppliers to Europe are the USA and Qatar.
In addition, gas purchases through pipelines from Norway, Algeria and Azerbaijan were increased.
At the same time, Borrell noted the “harsh truth.” Which, he says, is that “this winter we are approaching the limit of how much additional gas we can buy from non-Russian sources.”
Later, the main part will have to account for energy savings, i.e. reduction in demand.
Borrell expressed regret that after 2014 Europe did not create a “real EU energy union” built on diversifying supplies and reducing Russia’s share in them, on investing in energy efficiency and renewable sources.
It is worth noting that last week the EU states concluded an agreement that provides for a 15 percent reduction in gas consumption over the next year. This is about 45 billion cubic meters. True, not all countries agreed with just such a reduction, so the agreement was concluded with amendments and exceptions.
Anyway, this is an experiment. And if the amount of natural gas can be enough to heat residential buildings, then what about the industry, the question remains open.