Europe can limit its dependence on Russian energy “in a relatively short time” through diversification, said Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi called in an interview with Corriere della Sera published on Sunday.
“We no longer want to be dependent on Russian gas, because economic dependence must not turn into political subjugation,” he said. “To do this, we need to diversify energy sources and find new suppliers.”
In a bid to wean itself off Russian energy, Italy’s Eni earlier this month signed a deal with Algerian Sonatrach to receive an additional 9 billion cubic meters of gas by next year and in 2024. “Other countries will follow,” Draghi said. “Diversification is possible and feasible in a relatively short amount of time, shorter than we imagined just a month ago.”
Russia currently supplies around 40 percent of Italy’s natural gas and 45 percent of the EU’s imported natural gas.
Draghi also said Italy’s proposal to cap the price of natural gas was “gaining support” in the EU. The bloc agreed to end coal imports in early April and there is pressure to extend this to oil and gas.
“Europe continues to finance Russia, among other things, by buying oil and gas at a price that bears no relation to historical values and production costs,” Draghi said.
Asked about the winter and the risk of industrial production slowing down in the event of gas shortages, Draghi replied that Italy was well positioned with gas stocks and new gas from other suppliers.
“Even if containment measures were taken, they would be mild,” he said, adding that warming would be reduced by 1 degree to 2 degrees and similar changes would be made to air conditioning.
Draghi also said the goal is to invest in renewable energy sources quickly. “Until now, the obstacle has been essentially bureaucratic and regulatory in nature,” he said. “We can no longer afford these vetoes.”
https://www.politico.eu/article/russia-gas-energy-europe-dependence-diversification-possible-feasible-mario-draghi-ukraine-war/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Diversification of Russian gas 'possible and feasible', says Draghi - POLITICO