MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Consumers in Europe should think about returning to the practice of long-term contracts for the supply of pipeline gas, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in his article for the Energy Policy magazine.
"We believe it would be advisable for consumers in Europe to think about returning the practice of long-term contracts for the supply of pipeline gas. This is economically profitable, reliable, and environmentally friendly. This system will significantly reduce the risk of shortage of the ‘blue fuel’," he wrote.
Novak also identified the primary causes of Europe's energy crisis. He cited initiatives to reduce funding for traditional energy sources as well as an excess of demand as a result of the economic recovery following the pandemic. According to him, prices for gas and coal on global markets increased several times in the second half of last year as a result of this.
"Europe has been depending on alternate energy sources in recent years. Last year, however, there were light winds in the North Sea, which cut wind farm electricity generation dramatically. For example, in 2021, the volume of electricity generated by wind farms in Denmark was almost 75% of the standard, and just about 50% in September. Furthermore, as expected, the onset of fall limited the volume of generation at solar power facilities," he said.
The accelerated recovery of industrial production, cold winter, and hot summer of last year, which required additional energy exacerbated Europe's energy crisis, resulting in a scarcity of energy supplies, according to Novak.
"The quickly abandoned hundreds of coal and gas power facilities, as well as nuclear generation, whose capacities were not replaced by alternative generation, played a key role here," Novak emphasized.