Amid recent escalations and possible Russian war crimes in Ukraine, the EU is trying to rid itself of Russian gas as quickly as possible. Also, considering that Russia has threatened to stop deliveries. A timeline, however, is unclear.
Germany has activated its energy emergency plan, in order to be prepared for a possible loss of Russian gas supplies. If this were to happen, alternatives would have to quickly be found. In 2021, Russia supplied the EU with 155 billion cubic meters of gas, so turning off the taps means a big shortfall. The US has committed to an additional 15 billion cubic meters of gas this year, supplies could be delivered to Europe through various liquefied natural gas terminals. Algeria has also agreed to supply more gas if needed, increasing its capacity by nearly 3 billion cubic meters per year. Other committments are squishier.
The International Energy Agency estimates that countries like Norway and Azerbaijan can increase their output to the EU over the next year. While other supplier countries, like Qatar, Canada and Australia, are already bound by long-term supply contracts and can’t easily ramp up their production to deliver more gas to Europe. Western countries want to become independent of Russian energy supplies. That’s the idea, but what are the alternatives?
Russian hard coal could be replaced by coal from Indonesia. While more demand for the country’s industry is certainly welcome, Indonesia’s government does have its own concerns.