Europe is on the breach of new period of energy security
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 9
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
Europe currently is on the breach of a new period of its energy security, Andrej Tibold, editor-in-chief at Eurasia Energy Observer said.
"The problem is that this new period will not be in favour of gas as an energy source," Tibold told Trend on Oct. 9.
He believes that gas has lost a lot of both political and social trust in the EU due to the crisis in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian crisis and Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute pose a risk for the EU supplies. Given the fact that the EU gets about 30 percent of its consumed gas from Russia, and that almost half of Russian gas transit to the EU passes through Ukrainian territory, some of the EU countries may face serious energy shortages.
In 2013, Russia's gas supplies to the European countries amounted to 161 billion cubic meters, and 86 billion cubic meters of that volume have been transited through Ukraine, according to Ukrtransgas.
In June Russia stopped supplying Ukraine with gas, following an unsettled dispute over debt and gas prices. So far this issue remains open, posing challenges for both Ukraine and the EU. European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger earlier in Oct. said he expected an interim gas deal between Russia and Ukraine to be completed this month.
Existing risks force the EU to search for alternatives to Russian gas supplies, as well as for alternative to gas as energy source in general.
"For example many coal fired plants in Eastern Europe that could have been replaced by gas fired plants will most likely remain in place," Tibold said.
"The EU will increasingly look for alternatives, meaning more renewables, efficiency and energy system improvements through better IT applications," Tibold added.
He also said that in the light of the events in Ukraine the importance of the Southern Gas Corridor is increasing, as the project which will provide the EU with the alternative sources and routes of gas supplies.
At this time the Southern Gas Corridor is the EU's priority project, which will ensure diversification of gas supply sources and routes for European countries through transportation of Caspian gas to the European markets.