By Constantin Radut
Since last fall, week after week, governments and companies, as well as home consumers, have been facing a bigger energy crisis than in the 1970s. At the time, the rise in fuel prices and heating systems was due to a single factor: the sanctioning of the West, a supporter of Israel, by some OPEC states by stopping oil exports and an economic shock in Europe, the US, Japan and others areas of the world.
The oil crisis was resolved at the negotiating table because the belligerents were well-known state entities.
Europe and the world are now mired in an unprecedented energy crisis. Some call it a crisis that can be compared to the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s.
Brent crude is at an all-time high of $ 100 a barrel, while spot prices for natural gas have risen by more than 500 percent year on year.
The energy crisis we are going through is in a much more abstract equation with multiple variables.
In the US, the Biden administration’s policy of no longer supporting the small oil producers stimulated by the Trump administration may be a negative signal.
In Europe, Germany’s political games, which relied solely on the “green” and therefore renewable energy book, have disrupted the entire community of nearly 500 million citizens in 27 states. Paradoxically, Germany is the second largest producer and consumer of coal (a very environmentally harmful fossil raw material). But its investments in renewable energy (especially wind and photovoltaic) have led the federal government led by Angela Merkel to force the European Commission to initiate restrictive measures on the use of fossil raw materials in the production of electricity and heat. German renewable equipment manufacturers have become one of the continent’s strongest businesses.
Moreover, Germany has campaigned for the exclusion of nuclear and natural gas from the European energy mix.
In this way, Europe made the mistake of shutting down natural gas fields, nuclear power plants and coal-fired power plants before sufficient alternative energy sources became available. In Germany alone, the share of renewable energy sources in the supply of electricity was at least 45 percent.
Following the departure of Angela Merkel and the political crisis in Germany, France has taken the European energy initiative. That is why the EC has already adopted policies to integrate nuclear energy and natural gas into the EU’s taxonomy.
In the Brussels bureaucracy, renewable energy has become an obsession. From one year to the next, wind and solar energy targets have been set at unimaginable levels.
Romania’s example is significant. Renewable energy (excluding hydro) had a target of 24% by 2020. The favorable fiscal policy of the governments of Bucharest in the last decade has led to an invasion of wind turbines and photovoltaic panels. So the 24% target was reached ahead of time. Then the EC set for Romania a target of 32% renewable energy for 2030. It was increased, following the lobby of German producers, to 35%. Do we have more wind? Not at all. Last year, this winter as well, Romania always had diurnal deficits of over 1000 MWH in the ratio between production and consumption because the coal-fired power plants were closed and the wind turbines did not rotate.
Romania has on its territory one of the largest wind farms (about 650 MW of installed capacity). Nearly one million hectares of agricultural land have been displaced from agriculture for investments in renewable energy.
In Europe, in addition to Brussels’ disastrous bureaucracy, the Russian gas crisis has also occurred. Poland and part of the German green lobby have ruled that North Stream 2 should not be put into operation. The Russians were very angry and stopped the gas export valves through the Yamal pipeline, which supplied Poland and Germany.
By Constantin Radut