grandstand. As in a movie about wartime duplicity, Russia continues to pay “rent” (apparently $2 billion in 2020, or around €1.84 billion) to Ukraine, which it massacres, for its gas pipelines to the European Union (EU). use. And the EU countries, which economically sanction Russia and some of which supply arms to Ukraine, continue to pay their gas to Russian killers – 155 billion cubic meters (BCM) in 2021, which is almost half of their gas imports.
The moral dilemma facing the EU can be resolved in a number of ways: Putin could cut supplies; an oil driller from the Middle East or Texas could hire mercenaries to blow up Ukrainian pipelines… and blow up oil and gas prices along the way; the Ukrainian government might even, in a desperate move, blow up the pipelines themselves.
Very expensive LPG
But none of the plans announced so far seem to be able to solve this dilemma. On March 25, the European Commission and Washington announced they could replace 20 MMCs of Russian gas (out of 155) with new wind and solar projects this year. And that in eight years (!) the EU would have ended Russian gas imports by tripling its wind and solar capacity to 170 BCM. Will there be anything else from Ukraine that day?
On March 24, Joe Biden pledged to ship about 15 MMC of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU this year. The EU is also looking at other LNG sources and contracts with existing floating regasification plants.
But replacing the relatively cheap gas, delivered by pipeline, with the very expensive liquefied natural gas, delivered by LNG tanker, requires the construction of new regasification plants. However, Dunkirk took six years to build and cost a billion euros. In other words, building more would not help solve the current short-term crisis.
However, the EU’s energy independence plan announced on March 8 does not talk about a new nuclear power plant to deal with this crisis. And with good reason: if the first EPR reactor in Europe, in Finland, produced its first 100 MW of electricity just in March 2022, the project started thirteen years ago, in 2005, and instead cost around 11 billion euros 3.4 billion originally planned …
From $26 to $50 per MWh
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