Low-carbon technology has a Russia problem, too. And it’s going to get bigger. Higher prices, supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine has Europe’s clean tech branch scrambling for non-Russian suppliers of key raw materials, such as nickel, palladium, lithium, platinum, cobalt, and neon-gas, as well as aluminium and copper. Some countries, such as the UK, have already begun to sanction them – a move the entire EU could take, if it chose to. But just about the only alternative markets that can cover rising European demand for exactly these raw materials is other authoritarian regimes. Paul Hockenos reviews.
The Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine is not only barbaric – it is also a harbinger of rapid economic changes around the world. Even if the war ends relatively soon (and that is unlikely), a return to the status quo ante is unthinkable. So too is a return to the heavily fossil-fuelled and import-dependent European energy model that existed before the war. Is it appropriate to ponder over raw materials as bombs fall on Kharkiv and Mariupol? Yes, if solely for the reason that the future shape of the energy market should constitute a response to this barbarism. The question is whether Poland is genuinely prepared for such a response. Michał Olszewski with a perspective from Warsaw.
Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine means Europe has to look elsewhere to secure its energy supplies. Green hydrogen could be an important new fuel, and here Latin America has the potential to become the next energy partner to Europe. The ongoing trade talks for a EU-Mercosur free trade agreement can provide a space for such negotiations. Rebecca Bertram has the details.
Europe can hurt the Russian war machine – and help the climate at the same time. Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked a wide-ranging revamping of energy policy in Europe with a new, no-holds-barred objective: to wean the continent from Russian fossil fuels — as rapidly and comprehensively as possible — and accelerate the continent’s green energy transition. Paul Hockenos explains.
Many Central and Eastern European countries rely on Russia for more of their fossil fuel than Germany does. This is one reason why Russian president Vladimir Putin targeted Bulgaria and Poland when he announced that these two EU and NATO countries would no longer receive natural gas deliveries. Paul Hockenos spoke with Bulgarian energy expert Radostina Primova.
The war in Ukraine reveals the consequences of Germany’s fossil fuel dependency on Putin’s regime in a brutal way. The international voices to cut these fossil ties are growing by the day. Many oil and gas producing companies – such as BP, Shell and ExxonMobil – have already pulled out of Russia. However, Germany’s largest oil and gas company, Wintershall Dea, is still reluctant to follow these examples. Andy Gheorghiu gives a brief overview about Wintershall’s history and explains how its deep-rooted ties with state-controlled Gazprom – including its Nord Stream projects partnerships and a swap-asset deal that hand-delivered Germany’s largest gas storage to Putin – have also deepened Germany’s dependence on Russia.
Energy efficiency has long been overlooked to the detriment of the larger smart energy transition. Now it’s being shortchanged to the disadvantage of besieged Ukraine. Paul Hockenos explains.
Away from coal! The need to get out of coal is now clear for everyone. But do we need instead more piped gas and LNG – liquified natural gas? Andy Gheorghiu reports
Despite the recent historic agreement between OPEC, Russian, American and other global oil producers to slash supply by the 1st of May with the hopes of bolstering prices, the United States will still suffer an “unprecedented” economic blow according to the International Energy Agency. With high production costs and deeply in debt, many U.S. producers, especially those extracting from shale fields, are bleeding cash as they try desperately to cut costs. Output is expected to shrink by more than two million barrels per day. Analysts predict waves of bankruptcies, along with thousands of job losses and steep drops in tax revenues for oil-dependent states as the fallout from a monster oil bust ripples throughout America’s already staggering economy. L. Michael Buchsbaum reviews the worsening situation.