Four European Union (EU) countries – Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands jointly set an offshore wind target of at least 65 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. That figure is intended to get more than double to 150 GW by 2050. According to the Global Wind Energy Council, these four countries were having 35.3 GW of global offshore wind capacity as of September 2021.
Big Offshore Wind Push in Europe
The big offshore wind push by Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands jointly will deliver at least half the capacity needed for the European Union to reach net-zero by 2050. The EU has set an overall target of generating 300 GW of offshore wind by 2050, which is up from the current 16 GW installed.
The goal is to provide clean energy from offshore wind to 230 million EU homes and also provide clean energy to make hydrogen and green fuels for heavy industries and transportation.
EU Quitting Russian Fossil Fuels, Moving to Clean Energy
The European Union has planned to completely ban imports of Russian crude and natural gas due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That is why the EU is setting a target of generating offshore wind capacity in the future and becoming independent in the energy sector.
In February 2022, Russia began the invasion of Ukraine and many countries including EU nations put sanctions on Russia and restricted trade with the country. That has affected the global supply chain of goods and resulted in rising prices of essential commodities including wheat, corn, crude oil, natural gas, sunflower oil, automotive materials, and chemical elements.
According to our database, the European Union imported around 40% of natural gas and 25% of crude oil from Russia in 2021. In fact, the EU is working hard to end its dependence on Russian fossil fuels well in advance of 2030 and fight climate change. And it is expected that the EU ban on Russian coal to begin in August 2022.
In 2021, the EU imported Russian oil worth US$52,418 million and Russian natural gas worth US$3,239 million. Visualize EU import data of Russian oil and natural gas with values recorded in quarters of 2021 through the chart given below.
Which EU Countries Imported Russian Oil and Natural Gas in 2021?
The European Union is highly dependent on Russian energy products. According to our database, the EU imported US$52,418 million worth of oil from Russia and US$3,239 million worth of Russian natural gas in 2021. The Netherlands imported crude oil from Russia the most in 2021 and France imported natural gas from Russia last year. Below given chart shows the top 10 EU importer countries of Russian crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) reported in 2021.
Clean energy initiatives in the EU plan include:
- Installing 600 GW of solar by 2030 and doubling solar capacity by 2025.
- Installing solar panels on new public and commercial buildings and new residential buildings.
- Doubling the rate of deployment of heat pumps.
- Shortening and simplifying permitting for clean energy projects such as wind and solar.
- Setting a target of 10 million metric tons of domestic renewable hydrogen production and 10 million metric tons of imports by 2030 to replace crude oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal in hard-to-decarbonize industries and transport sectors.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has forced the European Union to think and build plans to restrict trade with Russia and become independent in major sectors including energy which the EU imports from Russia. Globally, the situation is grim as there is a shortage of commodities like wheat, and the prices of certain goods are skyrocketing. The situation is not looking conclusive this year and the global trade scenario may get worst.