Gas prices have skyrocketed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fueling fears that Vladimir Putin could halt European imports of the fossil fuel.
And while President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy Demands EU support to defend his country “The inconvenient truth” is that Europe’s dependence on Russian gas imports “fundamentally shaped Western nations’ response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” he said The times‘Energy Editor Emily Gosden.
The European Union gets around 40% of its gas from Russia. By comparison, the UK “hardly imports gas from Russia,” he said The guardEnergy Correspondent for , Jillian Ambrose. Almost half of the gas routed to the UK comes from the North Sea and a third from Norway, while Russian imports account for less than 5%.
But “Britain is not protected from rising prices just because it is less dependent on Russian gas,” he said the i news Side? site. Gas “could get very expensive if markets in Europe soar,” Ambrose said back in January.
And markets have soared — by around 70% since February 21, 2022. Gas prices are now “more than four times what they were a year ago,” he said financial times (FT).
Pipelines through Ukraine carry Russian gas to mainland Europe. And as the war rages on, “it’s amazing” that “one is sending their gas to customers through the other,” Tom Marzec-Manser, head of gas analytics at price reporting agency Icis, told The Times.
Could Russia stop supplying Europe?
A “shutdown” of Russian pipeline gas used to be “unthinkable”, it said The economist. But that is “no longer” the case.
“Even at the height of the Cold War,” gas continued to be pumped to Europe, but “unlike his Soviet predecessors,” Putin “can afford the cost of a brief energy shock.”
“Mere saber-rattling over Ukraine has already pushed up gas and oil prices,” the newspaper continued. If Putin shut off Europe’s gas, “an immediate disruption would be inevitable,” but Europe’s energy system “is more resilient” than it was during the previous gas crisis in 2009.
Ultimately, “the price is paid out of the purse rather than through physical suffering”.
Whether or not Putin turns off Europe’s gas supply, the UK market is already seeing rising gas prices. Boris Johnson has said that “any suffering” Brits would experience from rising energy bills “would be minimal compared to what people in Ukraine have been going through,” the FT reported.
The invasion has led to a “frantic reassessment” of European and British energy supplies, it said The guardEnvironmental correspondent Fiona Harvey. Economic Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng tweeted that the UK should “go off gas” in favor of renewable energy and “new nuclear energy”.
Improving the energy efficiency of households is also crucial. The UK’s Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit estimates that improving home insulation and heating efficiency could “boost” the average energy output of UK households and reduce gas use by up to 20%, it reported Sky news.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/uk-news/955975/how-reliant-is-britain-on-russia-gas How dependent is the UK on Russian gas?