The European Union intends to create an effective system that will allow the countries of the association to gradually abandon the supply of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG). We are talking about a ban on the conclusion of new contracts, as well as restricting access to regasification terminals and other gas infrastructure for Russian companies. This was reported by Bloomberg with reference to a document prepared for a meeting of EU energy ministers.
The new ban mechanism is being lobbied mainly by the Baltic countries: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, as well as Poland and Finland. The authorities expect that the new mechanism will make it possible to further reduce purchases of Russian gas, without introducing additional restrictions. European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson also insists that the document should include a ban on new agreements on LNG supplies to the EU from Russia. This idea is supported by the main buyer of Russian LNG in Europe - Spain - whose authorities have already asked their companies not to enter into new agreements with Russian companies.
The Europeans are planning to replace Russian gas with an increase in nuclear generation, as well as an increase in renewable energy sources (RES). Moreover, in 2023 Europe wants to reduce the total share of gas in energy generation by another 15%, which should reduce the pressure on the markets and the need for gas in principle. True, there is no unity in the EU regarding the priority of renewable energy or the atom. France leads the "nuclear club" of countries that are in favor of expanding the use of nuclear energy. Paris is lobbying for a large number of small nuclear power plants, which are built relatively quickly and efficiently meet electricity needs.
“Nuclear power will contribute to decarbonizing the energy mix, achieving ambitious climate goals and an important goal of maintaining the competitiveness of EU industry,” the draft document, which the agency has seen, says.
France is also lobbying for nuclear power plants because it will allow it to secure funding from the European Commission through concessional lending. The document also reflects a global goal for the entire EU: RES should account for 45% of all energy generation by the end of the decade. The EU Presidency, Sweden, insists that countries now need to increase their efforts to introduce renewable energy, reducing dependence on fossil fuels.
Liquefied natural gas is the last major source of Russian gas on the European market. In 2022, against the background of reduced pipeline gas supplies, LNG exports from Russia jumped by 20%.