While some Europeans are worried about having enough gas to heat their homes , Paul Hockenos is getting excited about the opportunities created by the news that the recently completed $11 billion Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany will not be opened. In his opinion, it never should have been built. And now that it’s finally been declared a dead project , due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Europe will be forced to move on their promises to quickly build a renewable energy paradise.
“Good riddance Nord Stream 2. Now Europe has a golden opportunity”
Opinion by Paul Hockenos , CNN editorial
“Europe may rely on Russia for around 35% of its natural gas — Germany over 50% — but there are green alternatives that can step in and at the same time serve the purpose of addressing the ever more urgent climate crisis.”
He’s not too concerned about Europe not having enough energy in the interim period.
“Thus, Europe must rigorously accelerate its transition to electricity-based forms of heating, cooling, and transportation: called, logically, electrification. “Electrify everything” is considered a key step in transitioning away from fossil fuels, because when it comes to electricity, we know how to get to zero carbon. “
He also doesn’t mention that Russia borrowed half the money to build Nord Stream 2 from German energy companies. No one has said what will happen to the already constructed 760 mile long underwater pipeline or the loans. These are minor details to green energy proponents.
“Of course, to power this electrified world, the massive expansion of renewable energy, storage technologies, hydrogen technologies, and smart grids is crucial, which now has to happen several times faster than it is now — a point that climate activists and experts have made for years.”
It will most likely take years to build up wind and solar and increase the electric grid. And people will need that time to get rid of their gas heating systems and replace them with electric heaters. He doesn’t mention how Europe, especially Germany, would be affected if Russia cuts off its other gas pipeline to Europe. Like many climate activists, Hockenos wants people to cut back on energy consumption.
“Europeans simply have to use less energy: drive less, heat less, consume less. The EU’s recently increased targets are actually quite tame: EU countries should collectively cut energy consumption by 9% by 2030, for example.”
“Europeans have to realize that they are living in precarious, crisis-fraught times. Ramped up green transformation policies are required now for two reasons: to break free of Putin’s energy stranglehold on Europe and meet global climate goals to keep our planet livable. “
The above quotes are from this article. https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/23/opinions/nord-stream-2-germany-putin-gas-energy-hockenos/index.html
Other European climate leaders are also excited about the sudden opportunity to accelerate their green agenda.
“Let’s now dash into renewables at lightening speed… The faster we move, the sooner we reduce dependency on others,” EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans said in a tweet on Friday. “
And another article :
“Cutting back on Russia’s imports of natural gas has been tricky for Europe’s largest economy, especially as it is already set to exit nuclear power this year and coal-fired power by 2030.”
“Germany’s Economy Ministry now wants to speed up passage of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) through parliament so that it can come into force by 1 July 2022.”
“Economy Minister Robert Habeck, a leading member of the Greens party, has said faster expansion of renewables is key to reducing Germany’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels.” https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/02/28/germany-to-speed-up-renewable-energy-push-amid-ukraine-invasion
However, not everyone is so optimistic about a quick transition and some are saying this is not the time to cut back on fossil fuels. https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/oil-gas/geopolitical-clouds-gather-over-europes-climate-change-plans .
“What is the cost and who will pay? We are warning that if we don’t discuss this we will lose popular support for the whole project,” said a senior diplomat from one EU country.
The Commission proposed using revenues from the new market to shield low-income households from the costs. Critics still warn of a political backlash.”
The news is changing rapidly. Europe’s green energy transition will not be easy. Let’s hope that things don’t get a lot worse.