The EU should have been better prepared for its green energy transition, the Russian president says.
The EU’s decision to slash natural gas imports while trying to reach climate goals was a mistake, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday during an environmental forum in Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East.
“First, they (EU) jumped ahead, and then, after cutting off Russian gas supplies, returned everything that was reviled,” Putin stated.
He emphasized that all nations are in favor of reducing emissions into the atmosphere, noting however that everything should be done in a timely manner.
“And if you jump ahead, get cheap Russian gas, and then cut off the supply of this gas yourself and immediately switch back to everything that was previously condemned, including coal-fired generation, this, of course, is not the best option for solving global problems,” the Russian president said.
Under the REPowerEU plan, published in May 2022, the European Union plans to phase out Russian fossil fuels by 2027 and boost its renewable energy production. However, skyrocketing gas prices in Europe, which some analysts believe could lead to an energy catastrophe this winter, have forced some states to fire up coal plants and expand nuclear power use.
Source: RT News, 5 Sep, 2022.
Why Putin is correct – all fuels are not the same
One fuel is not like another – at least when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions.
Burning coal (anthracite and lignite) produces around twice as much carbon dioxide in relation to its energy content as burning natural gas.
When carbon-based fuels are used to generate electricity, carbon dioxide emissions increase in opposite proportional with the power plant efficiency. The worse the efficiency of electricity generation, the greater the electricity-specific emissions. For example, if lignite from Lausitz region (Germany-Poland) is burned in a power plant with an efficiency of 35 %, 1,17 kg of carbon dioxide is produced per kilowatt hour of electrical energy (kWhel). In a natural gas combined cycle power plant with an efficiency of 60 %, as another example, only 0,33 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted per kWhel.
Replacing lignite-fired electricity with electricity from natural gas can therefore save over 70% of the direct carbon dioxide emissions.