Relying on imports for some 80% of its gas needs, the European Union could soon face energy supply bottlenecks caused by the disruption of Russian gas exports. The “residential sector” accounts for 40% of demand in the EU, with industry and power generation also relying on gas. Though the bloc has put in place measures to prevent shortcomings—including the release of some strategic gas reserves—creative measures are still necessary to minimize the negative impact of the anticipated decline in Russian gas supplies, especially next year.
However, according to the IMF, “Alternative sources could replace up to 70% of Russian gas, allowing Europe to avoid shortages during a temporary disruption of around 6 months.” At the same time, the IMF in June also cautioned that “a longer full shut-off of Russian gas to the whole of Europe would likely…produce very high prices and significant shortages…with parts of Central and Eastern Europe most vulnerable.”
To reduce its vulnerability, the EU is better off diversifying its gas imports. Apart from Russia, the two top natural gas reserves in the world are in Iran and Qatar. EU officials are already in talks with Doha...
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