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Europe is experiencing an energy crisis, which will make it difficult for certain nations to maintain homes warm and businesses running in winter. This is due to Russia’s reduction in natural gas supplies to Europe, which is essential for heating homes, power companies, and producing electricity. Moscow claims that this week’s deliveries through Nord Stream 1, a significant pipeline connecting Russia and Germany, will only be carried at 20% of their potential. European officials are preparing for the potential of a total cutoff because they believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is utilizing energy as a political trump card in his conflict with the West over the conflict in Ukraine. Gas will now be restricted by the European Union.

Security of energy is now a top concern for all of Europe as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result of concerns over the long- and short-term security of this supply, many nations are motivated to immediately reduce their dependency on Russian gas, which supplies about 34% of Europe’s gas.

As a transitional fuel, however, natural gas—which has greater flexibility, lower emissions, and lower investment costs than other fossil fuels—plays a crucial part in the continent’s goal to substitute coal in the electrical supply and shift toward renewables. Scientists working under the direction of Aarhus University in Denmark have been attempting to calculate how the removal of Russian gas will affect the European energy balance and energy shift plans up to 2050 since Russia started to escalate its actions toward Ukraine earlier this year.

“With the phase-out of Russian gas, we no again have sufficient gas for this so-termed transition phase,” Gorm Bruun, an associate professor based at Aarhus University, explained. ” This requires us to decide whether to invest in the prompt installation of substantial volumes of solar and wind power or to revert to the other possibilities, including coal.”

Based on CO2 emissions budgets, they find two scenarios that would result in increases in the global average temperature of 1.5 C and 2 C, respectively. Rapidly deploying renewable energy sources and electrifying the heating industry will lower demand for natural gas in the 1.5 C scenario to levels below those that can be met, even with 34% less gas available. While this is the case, the demand for gas would continue to outpace supply until 2045 in a 2 C scenario. As a result, there might still be price volatility and a need for some regions of Europe to continue using coal as their primary source of electricity. In a case where the availability of gas is constrained, the research predicts that power costs in 2025 would increase by €15/MWh.

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