The invasion of Ukraine has seen almost the entire world stand together to denounce Russia for its aggression. And while the US bans Russian oil, it only gets about 8% of its oil from Russia. The EU is a completely different story.
The EU currently gets 40% of its oil directly from Russia, which makes banning it impossible, at least without serious economic consequences. For this reason, the EU parliament needed to come up with a plan to immediately reduce its reliance on Russian oil.
And to its credit, that’s exactly what they did.
By the end of the year, the goal is to reduce Russian fuel usage by two-thirds. And by 2030, they will be energy independent of Russia.
To achieve this, the EU will be ramping up its renewable energy sector, including hydrogen and biogas.
What Steps Will The EU Take to Ditch Russian Oil?
The first step the EU will take is to find a new supplier to meet its needs. Again, the oil will be around for the next two decades whether we like it or not.
However, concerns are being raised as to who can actually fill this gap. Russia produces 11.3 million barrels of oil per day. That’s not something that another producer could simply do, even if they wanted.
In fact, the only option would be the US, but that seems to be off the table and the Biden administration is trying to move away from fossil fuels. Although perhaps international pressure could reverse that decision, especially as gas prices continue to rise domestically.
That said, the EU is currently in talks with Algeria, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, Turkey, and the U.S. Thus, if multiple countries step up their oil capacity, the EU would have a new source.
Of course, finding new oil partners is only one part of the plan. The EU is already trying to achieve zero emissions, which would require ending fossil fuel usage altogether. As such, ramping up its efforts to expand the renewable sector is another way to end oil usage.
While this is positive news, there may be some short-term pains.
More Attention Is Being Given to Fuel Alternatives
One of the peculiar things is that there are other fuel sources available, but none of them are used widely.
One of the more well-known gas alternatives is biogas. For those unaware, biogas is a fuel produced when organic matter is broken down. One of the most well-known is ethanol, but there are others.
Apart from biogas, another alternative fuel source is green hydrogen. Hydrogen-powered cars exist, and heating systems could be converted to use them.
The real issue here is the actual conversion. Converting millions of homes and businesses to use it for heat takes time, which is the exact problem that electrification faces.
Coal Usage May Be on the Table For Some Countries
While deals are still in negotiation, to keep the lights on, it might make more sense for some nations to go back to coal.
However, there is an emphasis being put on for just a few months. Again, when things get bad, coal always looks like an attractive option because most countries already have the infrastructure in place. It’s affordable, abundant, and reliable.
It just has a nasty side effect of being a massive polluter and greenhouse emitter.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.