Russia’s war in Ukraine raises serious concerns about the immediate energy security in Europe with possible far-reaching implications, given the excessive European Union’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels imports. Europe imports nearly 40% of natural gas from Russia. This means that Europe needs to drastically accelerate the clean energy transition and reduce Europe’s energy dependence on unreliable suppliers and fossil fuels subject to volatile prices.

In light of the current situation in Ukraine, the recently launched REPowerEU Communication (Joint European action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy) outlines a plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels by 2030, starting with gas, aiming to already reduce the EU demand for Russian gas by two thirds before the end of 2022.

The European Union has been supporting investments during the last decade to reduce this dependence. In this context, the Trans-European Networks for Energy (TEN-E policy) and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). Energy funding programmes are extremely important as they promote projects aiming at eliminating dependence on Russian gas imports. One of their main objectives is precisely to enhance the EU security of energy supply by allowing diversification of supply sources, counterparts and routes, and by increasing storage capacity, system resilience and the connection of isolated markets to more diversified supply sources.

Supporting actions to strengthen EU energy infrastructure

Since its launch in 2014, CEF Energy has been supporting the implementation of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) pursuing these objectives. In the programming period 2014-2020, it has supported more than 20 actions and 13 PCIs aiming at diversifying gas supplies in those EU countries that depend on a single gas supplier (Russia, in most cases) to enable importing gas from other sources and via different routes. Discover some of the most important projects here.

Source: European Commission