A new report from the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group suggests that the European Union (EU) can replace Russian natural gas with green energy by 2028. The ‘Race to Replace’ report claims that up to 90% of the additional investment required to transition to clean energy, on top of currently planned European Green Deal spending, could be recouped over the next 30 years by eliminating the need to buy gas. In response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the EU has implemented emergency measures to end its reliance on Russian gas, which accounted for approximately half of EU supply in 2021. Dr Gireesh Shrimali, co-author of the report, said: “The transition from Russian gas to clean energy is not only achievable, but offers multiple benefits. Replacing natural gas with wind and solar energy eliminates the need to pay for gas in the future.” The report proposes policy changes to enable this transition, including public and private funding for large-scale deployment of renewables and heat pumps. The report also suggests targeted policy support for investors, including improved auctions for utility-scale solar and wind, addressing permitting challenges, deploying rooftop solar panels, and increasing support for insulation and the installation of heat pumps. The total capital expenditure required for the transition is estimated at €811 billion (US$890 billion), including planned spending of €299 billion on clean energy as part of the European Green Deal and an additional investment in renewable energy and heat pumps of €512 billion.
EU Needs €811 billion to Replace Russian Gas by 2028
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