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Europe remains dependent on gas imports in a market with volatile prices

6 June 2024

Dependence on energy imports in Europe has not undergone significant changes in recent years, with Europe remaining heavily dependent on energy imports, claims Dumitru Chisăliță, president of the Intelligent Energy Association (AEI).

An incident at a gas pipeline in Norway caused significant price changes on the stock market, just as it happened before the crisis in the situation of gas interruptions in Russia. The analysis of Eurostat data shows that the measures taken in the last period have not significantly changed the energy security level of Europe, replacing dependence on Russia with dependence on other countries. It can be seen that the dependence on energy imports from Russia has decreased three times, but it has not been completely eliminated.

There is a misconception that the gas crisis has caused a sea change in the energy market, and gas has been left out. In fact, statistics show us that things are not like that at all.

As for the dependence on gas imports, it has increased in recent years, even though the dependence on gas imports from Russia has decreased three times.

In the market, there is a sharp decrease in the quantities of gas imported through pipelines from Russia, of about 400%, on the other hand, gas imports from Russia via LNG have tripled.

The only reduction in dependence on imports can be seen in the oil products market, where Europe’s dependence on imports decreased by about 8%. This is also the sector where we have the largest reduction in dependence on an energy product from Russia, practically the dependence on Russia decreasing by 6 times. At the same time, the dependence on important coal in the EU increased in 2021 and 2022, with the restart of some coal-fired power plants following the gas crisis, and later returned to the level of 2019. The smallest decrease in dependence on imports from Russia is in coal level, it had reduced by only 6%.

Island countries are at the top of the energy dependent countries, and at the opposite pole are Romania (the 4th least dependent country in the EU), before Sweden, Estonia and Iceland. Romania is the least dependent country on imported gas and the second least dependent country on imported petroleum products.

“These data show the importance of energy security in the functioning of Europe and even more so of natural gas in this construction, which should be an important lesson for public policies and should determine rapid adaptability to avoid some of the future energy crises which foreshadows,” says Dumitru Chisăliță.


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