BERLIN– Europe should be able to cope with the natural gas supply crisis in the coming months thanks to considerable reserves even if the continent could face a bigger energy crisis next winter, said Thursday. the head of the International Energy Agency.
Fatih Birol said that, barring unforeseen events, “Europe will come through this winter with some economic and social headaches, bruises here and there” as a result of efforts to wean itself off Russian gas and the wider rise energy costs resulting from the war in Ukraine.
“Next winter will be tougher than this winter,” he said.
Birol cited the fact that Russia’s gas supply to Europe could completely end next year, while China’s demand for liquefied natural gas is expected to rebound as its economy recovers from the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the IEA expects new gas capacity to come online in 2023 to be the lowest in two decades, he said.
“(This) is why Europe needs to prepare today for next year,” Birol said, adding that solidarity between European nations was key.
Speaking at an energy symposium in Berlin hosted by the German government, the IEA chief said Russia can also expect to feel costly effects from its falling out with European energy buyers. energy about Ukraine.
With 75% of Russia’s gas exports and 55% of its oil to Europe before the war, Moscow must find new markets for its production, he said.
Birol called it “completely wrong” to assume that Russia will simply deliver to Asia, noting that pipelines through Siberia would take a decade to build and tankers would take ten times longer to reach customers there. Is that in Europe.
In addition, the departure of oil and gas technology companies from Russia due to sanctions means that production at difficult extraction sites is likely to fall.
“Russia is on the verge of losing the energy battle,” Birol said, adding that the IEA had calculated that Moscow would lose about $1 trillion in revenue by 2030 because of its war in Ukraine. .
While noting that the energy crisis also has serious repercussions for developing countries, Birol said it will help accelerate the transition to alternatives to fossil fuels.
“When I look at (efforts to ensure) energy security, climate commitments and industrial policy drivers, I am optimistic that the current energy crisis will be a turning point in the history of energy policy-making,” he said. he declared.
Still, it will require a fivefold increase in clean energy investment compared to today, Birol said.