• European Commission outlines an additional €195 billion to move away from Russian fossil fuels while decarbonising

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The European Commission has developed draft plans that estimate that it will need to spend an additional €195 billion (US$205 billion) over the next five years on top of other planned expenditure in order to become independent of Russian energy supplies.

Energy saving measures feature heavily, with energy use 13% below current levels by 2030 (as opposed to the previously-envisaged 9%), along with an even-faster ramp-up of renewables deployment, which would supply 45% of all energy demand by the end of the decade (in comparison to the current target of 40%). To meet this 45% target, the current renewables capacity would need to be doubled over the next eight years, pointing to the need to accelerate the permitting processes for such works.

Apart from wind and solar photovoltaics, the plan also calls for geothermal and solar concentrating technology deployment, as well as biomethane. In addition, 20 million tonnes of hydrogen would be used by 2030, half of it being imported, with draft plans suggesting three import corridors – through the Mediterranean, through the North Sea, and (eventually) through Ukraine.

Together with electrification, the energy efficiency measures and biomethane and hydrogen use are designed to reduce reliance on natural gas. Improved transmission grids and more LNG terminals (and capacity) are also part of the overall draft plan. Whether it changes prior to acceptance, and if acceptance goes ahead, will be particularly interesting, shaping the future of European energy.