IEA provides 10 point agenda to reduce EU reliance on Russian gas within a year


European Union imported 155 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia, accounting for around 45% of EU gas imports and close to 40 percent of its total gas consumption: IEA

Paris: International Energy Agency (IEA) on Thursday came out with 10 points agenda to reduced the dependency of European Union on the Russian natural gas and said the proposed measures are fully consistent with the EU’s European Green Deal  and paving the way for further emissions reductions in the years to come.

“The European Union could reduce its imports of Russian natural gas by more than one-third within a year through a combination of measures that would be consistent with the European Green Deal, support energy security and affordability said the IEA analysis.

The proposed points have been taken as a counter measure by the EU against the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Announcing the 10 point agenda IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said, “Nobody is under any illusions anymore. Russia’s use of its natural gas resources as an economic and political weapon show Europe needs to act quickly to be ready to face considerable uncertainty over Russian gas supplies next winter”.

“The IEA’s 10-Point Plan provides practical steps to cut Europe’s reliance on Russian gas imports by over a third within a year while supporting the shift to clean energy in a secure and affordable way. Europe needs to rapidly reduce the dominant role of Russia in its energy markets and ramp up the alternatives as quickly as possible.”

The IEA’s 10-Point Plan to Reduce the European Union’s Reliance on Russian Natural Gas includes a range of complementary actions that can be taken in the coming months, such as turning more to other suppliers, drawing on other energy sources and accelerating efforts to provide consumers, businesses and industry with the means to use clean and efficient alternatives to natural gas.

In 2021, the European Union imported 155 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia, accounting for around 45% of EU gas imports and close to 40 percent  of its total gas consumption.

“Progress towards Europe’s net zero ambitions will bring down its use and imports of gas over time, but today’s crisis raises the specific question about imports from Russia and what more can be done in the immediate future to bring them down” said IEA

Barbara Pompili, Minister for Ecological Transition of France, which currently holds the EU Presidency, said: “More than ever, getting rid of Russian fossil fuels and of fossil fuels in general, is essential. What is at stake is both the need to accelerate the fight against climate change, and, as we can see now, the short-term energy security of the European continent.

“The 10-Point Plan proposed by the IEA today will enrich our thinking. We will look at these proposals in detail, as the French President announced yesterday a broad resilience plan for France. As part of this plan, my administration is working on a set of measures to ensure the robustness of our energy system, which will certainly echo the propositions of the IEA” she added.

Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, said “Reducing our dependence on Russian gas is a strategic imperative for the European Union.

“In recent years, we have already significantly diversified our supply, building LNG terminals and new interconnectors. But Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a watershed moment” She said.

Simson,  added that next week, the Commission will propose a pathway for Europe to become independent from Russian gas as soon as possible. The IEA’s analysis outlines a number of concrete steps we can take towards that goal. It is a very timely and valuable contribution to our work.”

The key actions recommended in the IEA’s 10-Point Plan include not signing any new gas contracts with Russia; maximising gas supplies from other sources; accelerating the deployment of solar and wind; making the most of existing low emissions energy sources, such as nuclear and renewables; and ramping up energy efficiency measures in homes and businesses.

Taken together, these steps could reduce the European Union’s imports of Russian gas by more than 50 billion cubic metres, or over one-third, within a year, the IEA estimates.

This takes into account the need for additional refilling of European gas storage facilities in 2022. Many of the actions recommended in the plan – including stepping up energy efficiency measures, accelerating renewable deployment and expanding low emissions sources of power system flexibility – are key elements of the IEA’s Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050.

The IEA analysis also notes that other avenues are available to the EU if it wishes or needs to reduce reliance on Russian gas even more quickly – but with significant trade-offs. The major near-term option would involve switching away from gas consumption in the power sector via increased use of Europe’s coal-fired fleet or by using alternative fuels, such as oil, within existing gas-fired power plants.

Given that these alternatives to gas use are not aligned with the European Green Deal, they are not included in the 10-Point Plan described above. They may also be costly from an economic point of view. However, they could displace large volumes of gas relatively quickly. If the fuel-switching option were to be fully exercised in addition to the complete implementation of the 10-Point Plan described above, it would result in a total annual reduction in EU imports of gas from Russia of more than 80 billion cubic metres, or over half, while still resulting in a modest decline in overall emissions.

“Reducing reliance on Russian gas will not be simple for the EU, requiring a concerted and sustained policy effort across multiple sectors, alongside strong international dialogue on energy markets and security” it said.

The 10 points are following.

Do not sign any new gas supply contracts with Russia.

Replace Russian supplies with gas from alternative sources.

Introduce minimum gas storage obligations.

Accelerate the deployment of new wind and solar projects.

Maximise power generation from bioenergy and nuclear.

Enact short-term tax measures on windfall profits to shelter vulnerable electricity consumers from high prices.

Speed up the replacement of gas boilers with heat pumps .

Accelerate energy efficiency improvements in buildings and industry

Encourage a temporary thermostat reduction of 1 °C by consumers

Step up efforts to diversify and decarbonise sources of power system flexibility.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here