Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen commented on energy crisis measures and blamed Russia for the crisis.
In a statement released on Wednesday, she stated that the EU is facing a crisis because Russia is an unreliable supplier and is manipulating the gas market.
She reminded that the EC implemented measures aimed at cushioning the blow of the crisis, including diversification of supply and mandatory consumption cuts.
At the same time, von der Leyen stated that the EU managed to “completely compensate so far the gas imports through other reliable suppliers.”
She added that the EU has been “working very hard” to replace Russian gas with imports from Algeria, Azerbaijan, Norway and the US, among other, stressing that Norway is currently supplying the EU with more natural gas than Russia.
Von der Leyen stressed the importance of “massive investments in renewables,” expressing belief that renewable energy makes the EU independent and is cheap.
Besides Russia, von der Leyen blamed climate change for the energy crisis, but added that closing of nuclear power plants as part of the green push left the bloc with less electricity and higher prices.
EC to intervene more
She stressed that the EC plans to implement more measures to address the energy crisis and added that peaks of electricity consumption need to be flattened to avoid the use of gas for generation.
Consumption peaks in the afternoon, after workers return to their homes from work. Von der Leyen revealed that the Commission plans to impose mandatory consumption cuts to flatten the curve.
Companies that produce green energy “have low costs but they have high prices on the market,” von der Leyen noted, stressing that it is time for the citizens to reap the benefits of the bloc’s green push.
“We will propose to re-channel these unexpected profits to the member states so that the member states can support the vulnerable households and vulnerable companies,” she announced.
She added that the EC will impose “solidarity contributions” on fossil fuel companies, pointing out that they are operating with unexpectedly high profit.
Commenting on the purpose of sanctions, she stated “we all know that our sanctions are deeply grinding into the Russian economy, with a heavy negative impact.”Russia’s income from fossil fuel exports increased significantly in the first half of the year.