BRUSSELS, March 29, /ITAR-TASS/. If Europe opts for alternatives to Russian gas it should be prepared to pay twice as much, as follows from a just-published survey by Bruegel, a research group in Brussels.
At present about 40 percent of the European gas import comes from Russia. The EU pays about 53 billion dollars a year, Bruegel said. The world gas prices as they are, Europe can hope to attract overseas liquefied natural gas only it is prepared for a 100-percent price hike. Also, one should add the extra costs of building LNG terminals.
If Russian gas were to be replaced with a package of energy resources including Norwegian gas, LNG from the United States and Europe-mined coal, the likely price growth would be not so great, but still significant - 50 percent, Bruegel says.
Also, this solution implying the re-activation of Europe’s coal-fuelled power generation would ruin the EU’s ecological ambitions to cut greenhouse gas emissions, for coal is the dirtiest of the fossil fuels.