Russia's Invasion May Inadvertently Accelerate Europe's Green Transition

Russia's Invasion May Inadvertently Accelerate Europe's Green Energy Transition

The invasion of Ukraine is creating urgency to finally cut ties with Russian oil and invest in green alternatives. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, crude oil prices have surged, prompting countries across the world to find alternative energy sources. In the immediate, the US and other members of the International Energy Agency (IEA) are releasing 60 million barrels of oil from their strategic petroleum reserves. Even this move is unlikely to significantly reduce prices, reports NPR. Now, the New York Times reports on a 26-page EU draft policy, which proposes to: swiftly renovate old, leaky buildings to reduce energy demand; simplify regulations to attract investments in renewable energy; encourage more rooftop solar installations; and produce more energy from biomass.

CNBC: Here's how today's surging oil prices could play out, March 3, 2022.

Why This Matters

The EU has been grappling with finding alternative energy sources to reduce its dependency on Russia, but is struggling between reliance on American fossil fuels, keeping more nuclear plants online than planned, or opting for other green energy sources.

In a statement released by the White House last Thursday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki writes:

We are ​​prepared to use every tool available to us to limit disruption to global energy supply as a result of President Putin's actions… We will also continue our efforts to accelerate diversification of energy supplies away from Russia and to secure the world from Moscow's weaponization of oil and gas.

Reuters: Surging oil prices renew focus on clean energy stocks, March 3, 2022.

DW: How Russia's war and international sanctions impact global energy and food security, March 3, 2022.

Predicting High Winds in the US

The US is poised to inherit the EU's energy demand from Russia. American wind projects have ramped up significantly in recent years with offshore projects currently at an inflection point, presenting climate benefits and domestic job growth opportunities. In 2021 alone, the US installed over 200 Gigawatts of clean energy capacity with the most significant expansions in wind and solar projects. The crisis of European energy could incentivize the US to rapidly invest in the development of alternative energy sources.

NBC: US Gas Prices Soar, March 5, 2022.

Yahoo Finance: Russia-Ukraine war 'will accelerate' move to green hydrogen, renewable energy (Plug Power CEO), March 3, 2022.

TODAY: Off-Shore Wind Farms Provide Promising Roadmap For More Clean Energy, September 19, 2021.