Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Pushes Europe and the United States to Accelerate Renewable Energy Solutions as Energy Costs Skyrocket and Concerns About Supplies Arise.
The World is pushing for renewable energy solutions as we are now feeling the effects of the war in Ukraine. Dramatic increases in cost, and concerns around the supply of petroleum and natural gas adds to the urgency of transitioning to clean energy sources such as solar, wind, waste to energy, and waste heat recovery power. The conflict highlights the importance of the U.S., the European Union and other allies working together to achieve energy independence, while also working towards global climate goals.
While both the United States and Europe have actively been pursuing renewable and clean energy prior to Russian aggression, the recent invasion and subsequent sanctions towards Russia is moving this initiative from a goal to a necessity.
United States Pushes for Renewables as Energy Costs Continue to Rise
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has again raised concerns about global energy supplies, threatening to raise gas prices that are already higher than ever. Since 2021 Russia has been the United States’ top source of imported gasoline and other refined petroleum products. Electrical costs are expected to skyrocket as well, adding to the concern for homes, businesses and manufacturing facilities in the US.
As the government makes decisions on how to combat this, energy users throughout the United States are looking for alternatives. The U.S. oil industry wants President Biden to ease restrictions on drilling, and Europe has already started importing more fossil fuel from the United States to reduce its dependence on Russian supplies. The White House is also pushing for adoption of renewable options, saying the U.S. needs to decrease its reliance on foreign oil by switching over to renewable energy, not increasing domestic production. “We need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, on oil in general, and we need to look at other ways of having energy in our country and others,” Psaki said during an interview with ABC.
Outside of the current conflict in Europe, the United States has also been addressing concerns to its grid and its goals to dramatically decrease its use of coal for the production of power. The American government will enact transformative climate legislation when the Senate passes the BBBA investment package, which passed the House late last year. In addition, the extension of the tax credits and their conversion to direct pay will further push renewable energy deployment in 2022.
Europe’s Energy Supply Concerns Accelerate Efforts to Implement Renewable Energy
European nations have been actively planning to cut their reliance on energy exports from Russia, and implement renewable energy solutions across the continent. Russia currently supplies more than one-quarter of Europe’s oil and nearly 40% of its natural gas primarily used for heating and electricity generation.
Russia’s actions in Ukraine have sped up the EU’s plans, with European officials expected to release a strategy next week for reducing the continent’s use of fossil fuels by 40% over eight years and ramping up non-polluting energy sources.
The plan was originally designed to slow the climate crisis, which is wreaking havoc around the world by exacerbating wildfires, floods, droughts and heat waves. However, cutting back on fossil fuels would also help to limit Russia’s geopolitical influence. It is expected to include accelerated action on projects and funding for new alternatives in solar, wind, waste heat and heat recovery facilities.