Ukraine War Supercharges Global Move to Clean Energy

March 19, 2022

Russia’s use of gas as a weapon against democracy has galvanized the move toward clean energy, and drawn support from a whole new segment of the public, those more concerned about security than climate. (although we know they go together..)

Guardian:

A massive expansion of wind farms across the UK is now needed for national security reasons, the business secretary has declared, as, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the government considers sweeping changes to planning laws to improve Britain’s energy independence.

Boris Johnson is planning to unveil a radical new “energy strategy” within a fortnight to ensure the UK can meet its domestic needs from a mix of renewables and nuclear. The war in Ukraine has brought further huge rises in global fossil fuel prices and exposed countries’ dependence on overseas supplies.

Remarkably, the need for more on- and offshore windfarms – traditionally a highly controversial subject in the Conservative party – is now being talked about within government as a matter of security, rather than a way of fighting climate change.

Renewables such as wind and solar power are expected to be part of the new government strategy to free Britain from dependence on imported oil and gas and spare households and businesses from the effects of wild fluctuations on global energy markets.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the business, energy and industrial strategy secretary, said last week on Twitter: “This is no longer about tackling climate change or reaching net-zero targets. Ensuring the UK’s clean energy independence is a matter of national security. Putin can set the price of gas, but he can’t directly control the price of renewables and nuclear we generate in the UK.”

Official figures show that meeting net-zero targets would lead to a drop in gas use of 65% by 2035 in the UK, and almost 100% by 2050.

France 24:

The Mediterranean’s first offshore wind farm is rising from the shallows off Italy, its turbines a symbol of hope for a Europe suffering an energy crisis exacerbated by war. 

The park will stretch out from the port in Taranto, a city in the south blighted by a noxious steel plant and unemployment, but which now finds itself centre stage in the country’s race to scale up green power.

“This is a big chance to change hearts and minds on renewables,” said Fabio Matacchiera, an activist in Taranto, where child tumours are well above the average but poor locals cling to jobs in dirty energy.

The Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine in February prompted an outraged European Union to pledge to sharply reduce its dependency on Russian gas, and expand clean energy faster to compensate.

Italy is one of Europe’s biggest guzzlers of gas, which currently represents 42 percent of its energy consumption. It imports 95 percent of the gas it uses, 45 percent of which comes from Russia.

An “accelerated investment in renewables… remains the only key strategy in the long term,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi told parliament last week, with Rome planning to stop using Russian gas by 2025.

As the Ukraine conflict rages, Italy’s cabinet has approved six new wind farms to be built on land, from Sardinia to Basilicata, and has committed to unlocking “several tens of gigawatts of offshore wind power”.

Reuters:

The Netherlands will significantly ramp up the building of offshore wind farms in coming years, doubling the planned capacity by 2030, in a bid to meet climate goals and reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

The government is on Friday set to announce plans for additional wind farms with a total capacity of 10.7 gigawatt (GW) to be realised by the end of the decade in the Dutch part of the North Sea, a source close to the matter said in confirmation of media reports.

Current plans aim at a total capacity of about 10 GW in offshore wind energy in 2030, with about 3 GW already operational or under construction following a series of tenders in recent years.

The government in January announced it would significantly increase spending on the energy transition and set up a fund of 35 billion euros ($39 billion) to finance projects that would help keep the transformation to a carbon neutral economy on track

2 Responses to “Ukraine War Supercharges Global Move to Clean Energy”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    For so many decades we’ve cozied up to some nasty regimes in the name of oil. Putin should have taken advice from the oppressive petro-states in the Middle East on how to play the long game, working us like a blue marlin and holding hands with US presidents.

    To think of all of the hard work the fossil fuel lobbyists have put into undermining renewable energy and EVs, only to have Putin set them back like this.

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    So it turns out the only moral equivalent of war is……war. Who knew?

    Well, besides anyone who’s been paying attention.


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