BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 12. Europe needs to future-proof new investments in gas supply, said Anne-Sophie Corbeau Global Research Scholar, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affair, Trend reports with reference to the International Gas Union (IGU).
“We need to be less ideologic and more pragmatic. One example of ideology is the planned decommissioning of German (or Belgian) nuclear power plants. Removing them, while we need every single kilowatt hour of power and asking people to reduce their heating in winter makes little sense to me. Unfortunately, because energy security and affordability have taken the front seat, it is unavoidable that our emissions – notably from coal – will increase. We need to minimize this; but with nuclear, hydro and renewable power supply not growing fast enough, it seems that we will again need to be pragmatic, or decrease our energy demand even further – potentially with a lot of economic damage,” she said.
Corbeau believes that there is a need to really ask whether European companies are ready to support LNG export plants or are just happy to pay spot prices with Europe playing the role of the global trade balancing market.
“I hear a lot of people wondering whether, because of the call towards sustainability, there is not enough push towards supply investments. There is a need for more supply, not only for Europe but also for other countries, particularly in the developing world. Will it be better if Southeast Asia stays with coal? One of the most secure gas supply sources is domestic gas. Europe has declining gas production, but still some resources: maybe fast-tracking Black Sea developments, having a serious discussion with Norway, finding a pragmatic solution for East Mediterranean gas, are to be more actively considered,” the analyst said.
She noted that EU also needs to future-proof new investments.
“That means that even if there are investments in natural gas supply, they need to be as low-carbon as possible. Finally, we need a better understanding of our progress in reaching targets. Therefore, the European Commission should be tracking progress in terms of energy efficiency, wind and solar deployment, biomethane production, gas demand reduction and other areas on a yearly basis.”
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