By Ana Luisa Munhoz Mastromauro and Maíra Figueredo Gomes
“The energy crisis can be a turning point to accelerate clean sources and to form a sustainable and secure energy system”, said Faith Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (AIE), in september 2022. Faith also stated that renewable energy capacity and installation is being accelerated in many countries across Europe., with the aim of lowering the value and cutting the licensing of Russian gas, being these consequences of the war with Ukraine.
Firstly, it is noteworthy that this confrontation made energy security an increasingly frequent agenda, after all, hindering the respect for otherness so necessary for the coexistence between nations, being the world's second largest exporter of natural gas, was responsible for half of European imports of this input; therefore, encouraging local production will serve as a way to prevent European countries from being submissive to Russian territory.
Recently, the EIA carried out a review of its prognosis and concluded that growth, in terms of capacity, of renewable energy in 2022 must undergo an increase of 20% about 2021, and about 400 gigawatts of renewable capacity expected to be added this year.
Already Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission, proclaimed the “complete and profound reform” that the European Union must carry out in relation to energy to face the increase in prices in the bloc. no speech, also in september 2022, Ursula argued:”Beyond the immediate crisis, we must think about the future. The current model of the electricity market no longer does consumers justice, who should reap the benefits of low-cost renewable energy”. Besides that, the energy ministers approved the main precepts of a plan of 140 billion euros to refute Russia's depriving the continent of natural gas.
The war between Russia and Ukraine brought numerous consequences for the renewable energy sector, making the European continent scarce, implementing, like this, Norway as the main supplier of the European Union currently. A large part of the countries relied on Norwegian fuel for their stock for the coming years and for the winter months.. No doubt, the wealth of this country is increasing, making it a big part of the oil and gas industry. In all, Oslo hopes to raise about US $109 billion, US $82 billion more than 2021 in this sector.
Other countries are also taking action.. the british government, for example, installed a ceiling, decreasing 50% the cost of energy and natural gas for industries. Germany communicated the nationalization of Uniper (largest gas importer in the country) to avoid company bankruptcy. In addition to having extremely high costs for the population and public coffers, these emergency measures, the EU increased by 45% up until 2030 the introduction of renewable energy in the electrical matrix.
Another solution found was the growth of new energy projects and renewable sources, which brought an economy of 11 billion euros since the beginning of March last year, with wind and solar generation capacity increasing among EU countries. According to the Climate Info website, another benefit was the reduction of inflationary pressure. Besides that, from march to september 2022, renewable sources covered nearly a quarter of the continent's energy needs, according to think tanks E3G and Ember.
Taking advantage of integration between EU countries, the Iberian countries and France announced, at the end of october, who signed an agreement for the construction of a gas pipeline connecting Barcelona to Marseille, which will be responsible for transporting green hydrogen and other clean gases. Yet, the Portuguese prime minister, Antonio Costa, stated that there is still a long way to go, both technically and economically, meanwhile remains open to extending this pipeline to the rest of Europe – idea that is supported by the French prime minister and the president of the Spanish government.
A somewhat unexpected and contradictory initiative came from the French government, in seeking to reestablish a link with Venezuela during the backstage of the COP 27. Although President Nicolás Maduro has been favorable to this approximation, a number of issues were raised, after all, the South American country has been disrespecting human rights and democracy; and France, that has shown itself to be more and more interested in green energy, negotiate to buy oil, highly polluting input, during an environmental conference, was not seen with good eyes.
However,, despite so many initiatives, according to experts polled by CNN, the target set at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in 2021 (walking in circles 26), known as “carbon neutrality by 2050” will not be achieved – even though the war has accelerated the process of adherence to clean energy sources. After all, there are still european countries, inclusive, who are not contributing as they should to achieve this goal.
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