Filed Under: International

EU’s energy crisis, worsened by Russia’s Ukraine invasion, causing coal rush

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could set back European green energy efforts for years to come. The energy crisis there is sending governments scrambling to secure sources of power, including coal – the dirtiest of all the fossil fuels.

Typically, the European Union buys 70% of its coal and 40% of its natural gas from Russia. With those supplies either cut off or dramatically reduced, both the demand and price of coal from other markets are skyrocketing.

In the first four months after Russia invaded Ukraine, coal imports into the EU from Australia, South Africa and Indonesia were up 11-fold. Some mine executives are reporting their EU customers are willing to pay twice the price quoted to Asian buyers. Russia’s invasion has forced much of the EU to all but completely abandon some of its green energy goals.

In July, EU lawmakers voted to add liquified natural gas and nuclear energy to the bloc’s list of sustainable activities.

The list is meant to foster more private investment into sustainable energy development, but environmental groups in Europe argue liquified natural gas is a fossil fuel and therefore inherently unsustainable. They also say there are too many risks with nuclear energy to count it as a safe source of green energy.

The environmental groups say including natural gas and nuclear energy on the sustainable activities list is a violation of the Paris Accords, and they have asked for an internal review of the decision.

Europe’s energy crisis is already causing global shockwaves. The price of natural gas in the U.S. is up more than 150%. With winter looming right around the corner, Americans will certainly be paying more to heat their homes this year.

Reuters contributed to this report.

RUSSIA’S INVASION OF UKRAINE COULD SET BACK EUROPEAN GREEN ENERGY EFFORTS FOR YEARS TO COME. THE ENERGY CRISIS THERE IS SENDING GOVERNMENTS SCRAMBLING TO SECURE SOURCES OF POWER, INCLUDING EVEN THE DIRTIEST OF ALL THE FOSSIL FUELS.

TYPICALLY, THE EUROPEAN UNION BUYS 70% OF ITS COAL AND 40% OF ITS NATURAL GAS FROM RUSSIA.

WITH THOSE SUPPLIES EITHER CUT OFF OR DRAMATICALLY REDUCED, BOTH THE DEMAND AND PRICE OF COAL FROM OTHER MARKETS IS SKYROCKETING.

IN THE FIRST FOUR MONTHS AFTER RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE, COAL IMPORTS INTO THE EU FROM AUSTRALIA, SOUTH AFRICA AND INDONESIA WERE UP 11-FOLD.

SOME MINE EXECUTIVES ARE REPORTING THEIR EU CUSTOMERS ARE WILLING TO PAY TWICE THE PRICE QUOTED TO ASIAN BUYERS.

RUSSIA’S INVASION HAS FORCED MUCH OF THE EU TO ALL BUT COMPLETELY ABANDON SOME OF IT’S GREEN ENERGY GOALS.

IN JULY, EU LAWMAKERS VOTED TO ADD LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS AND NUCLEAR ENERGY TO THE BLOC’S LIST OF SUSTAINABLE ACTIVITIES.

THE LIST IS MEANT TO FOSTER MORE PRIVATE INVESTMENT INTO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT, BUT ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS IN EUROPE ARGUE LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS IS A FOSSIL FUEL AND THEREFORE INHERENTLY UNSUSTAINABLE.

THEY ALSO SAY THERE ARE TOO MANY RISKS WITH NUCLEAR ENERGY TO COUNT IT AS A SAFE SOURCE OF GREEN ENERGY.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SAY INCLUDING NATURAL GAS AND NUCLEAR ENERGY ON THE SUSTAINABLE ACTIVITIES LIST IS ALSO A VIOLATION OF THE PARIS ACCORDS, AND THEY’VE ASKED FOR AN INTERNAL REVIEW OF THE DECISION.

EUROPE’S ENERGY CRISIS IS ALREADY CAUSING GLOBAL SHOCKWAVES. THE PRICE OF NATURAL GAS IN THE U.S. IS UP MORE THAN 150%. WITH WINTER LOOMING RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, AMERICANS WILL CERTAINLY BE PAYING MORE TO HEAT THEIR HOMES THIS YEAR.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could set back European green energy efforts for years to come. The energy crisis there is sending governments scrambling to secure sources of power, including coal – the dirtiest of all the fossil fuels.

Typically, the European Union buys 70% of its coal and 40% of its natural gas from Russia. With those supplies either cut off or dramatically reduced, both the demand and price of coal from other markets are skyrocketing.

In the first four months after Russia invaded Ukraine, coal imports into the EU from Australia, South Africa and Indonesia were up 11-fold. Some mine executives are reporting their EU customers are willing to pay twice the price quoted to Asian buyers. Russia’s invasion has forced much of the EU to all but completely abandon some of its green energy goals.

In July, EU lawmakers voted to add liquified natural gas and nuclear energy to the bloc’s list of sustainable activities.

The list is meant to foster more private investment into sustainable energy development, but environmental groups in Europe argue liquified natural gas is a fossil fuel and therefore inherently unsustainable. They also say there are too many risks with nuclear energy to count it as a safe source of green energy.

The environmental groups say including natural gas and nuclear energy on the sustainable activities list is a violation of the Paris Accords, and they have asked for an internal review of the decision.

Europe’s energy crisis is already causing global shockwaves. The price of natural gas in the U.S. is up more than 150%. With winter looming right around the corner, Americans will certainly be paying more to heat their homes this year.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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