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Oct 3, 2021
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The transition to green energy is stalled

With gas prices skyrocketing, Europe is returning to coal. “The world needs energy. And above all, electrical energy. And so it turns out that in most even developed countries of the world, the main source of its production is still coal, “writes the Japanese” Tokyo Shimbun “, noting that” Russian coal from Siberian deposits in Russia is acquiring exceptional importance. “

But in Europe, they have already begun to destroy coal-fired power plants. “By ditching mostly coal in an effort to move towards green power generation, – the agency writes Bloomberg.Europe found itself in a difficult position. Its gas storage facilities are only partially filled, liquefied natural gas suppliers prefer Asia, and the energy from non-permanent renewable sources cannot fully meet the demand. “

Coal mine

The UK planned to close 7 coal-fired power plants in 2022, the latter should be shut down in 2025. In the same year, Italy plans to abandon coal. In France, the closure of coal-fired power plants is slated for 2023. The existing capacity of German power plants operating on coal by 2022 was supposed to be reduced by more than a quarter: from 21 to 15 gigawatts. Some of these plans are now being revised.

But it was too early to give up coal and other traditional forms of energy. “Germany announced that it will spend $ 44.5 billion on giving up coal, but it will be able to achieve what it wants only after 18 years, that is, in 2038, – wrote last year New York Times. Eastern European countries, in particular Poland and the Czech Republic, are still highly dependent on this energy resource. China, which now accounts for half of the world’s coal demand, continues to build coal-fired power plants. Moreover, not only at home, but also abroad … “

Even before the onset of the current energy crisis, the German edition Peace noted: “By adopting the Program for the Development of the Coal Industry until 2035, Putin made a bet that nothing would come of the world’s transition to renewable energy sources, the so-called energy turnaround. And then Russia will be the only coal seller with the largest reserves in the world … “

Energy prices are skyrocketing

“The climatic psychosis of Europe led to a shortage of fuel and a jump in prices, which flew like a hurricane across the world energy markets, – writes Wall Street Magazine. – … the United States also contributed to the energy crisis, promising earlier to “fill the whole of Europe” with its liquefied gas. And LNG is simply not enough to supply Europe and the whole world … In China, factories have already begun to close because local authorities have set standards for energy consumption. Gas-fired generating facilities in Asia are switching to fuel oil, which is also pushing prices up. “

As for the growth in demand for coal, it is connected not only with the failures of the energy transition in Europe. The coal boom began in China, where in the summer they recorded a record-high rise in coal prices. One of the reasons for the jump in prices, the Chinese call the “mining” of cryptocurrencies, which require huge energy costs. In the metallurgical industry in Japan, coal is used both as a raw material (coke) in the smelting of metals and for the production of electricity. According to Japan’s White Paper on Energy, coal imports into the country have been at an all-time high of 180-200 million tons per year for more than five years.

Europeans freeze

“Utilities in Europe are struggling to buy as much coal as possible, – continues Bloomberg, – but Russia, the third largest coal exporter in the world, mainly supplies large Asian buyers. “

“Russia has been cutting coal exports to Europe for several years as the EU closes its coal-fired thermal power plants, – comments on this fact Kirill Chuiko, head of the analytical department at BCS Global Markets“It will be difficult to reroute it to Europe, as there are contracts with Asian clients. And in any case, transport opportunities are also limited “… Therefore, the volume of Russian coal exports to Europe this year will remain unchanged at about 48 million tons, an official from the Ministry of Energy said.

As the English writes Daily Express, companies across the UK are frozen in anticipation of what comes next: “We look at the looming energy crisis with great concern. If winter turns out to be cold again, we can go back to the days when central heating in residential buildings was a luxury available only to wealthy people. “

According to the European Trade Union Confederation, already more than three million people in the European Union are unable to pay their energy bills. Another 24 million Europeans live below the poverty line. And no one knows what to do. Therefore, the Belgians, for example, are advised to “consume wisely” energy and … to heat with wood.

I recall the words of Putin, said more than a year ago, when he received Rosatom workers in the Kremlin on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the nuclear industry: “I once spoke in Germany:” You shut down the nuclear power industry, you don’t want to buy gas from us. What will you heat with? Firewood? Well, you have no firewood, you have to go to Siberia! “

Cover photo: REUTERS / Handout

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