Leaders in the EU and the UK have announced markedly different plans to manage the escalating energy crisis, as August power-prices in Europe soar to an all-time high and Putin vows to shutter the Nord Stream 1 pipeline until sanctions are lifted. Story by Renew Economy
The newly-minted UK prime minister Liz Truss declined to follow the EU lead of a windfall tax on energy companies – tipped to make £170bn in windfall profits over the next two years in the UK alone – instead announcing a price cap on household energy bills, extra funding for energy suppliers, the scrapping of green levies and a lift on the fracking ban.
This means that while while energy companies in Europe will shoulder the financial burden of easing the crisis, the UK government will shoulder that burden itself, taking out billions in debt – some of which will help prop up the oil and gas sector.
Europe is particularly reliant on Russian gas, with the nation supplying some 45%of the EU’s total gas imports last year. While imports from Russia made up just 4% of the UK’s total gas supply in 2021, the country is still feeling the bite of the global surge in gas prices – that’s despite plans, announced earlier this year, to diminish reliance on Russian imports by building a robust network of fuel suppliers across the US, the Netherlands and the Gulf.
Truss’ decision to lift the moratorium on fracking, imposed in 2019 amid opposition from green groups and local concerns about earth tremors, suggests she will look to secure the UK’s energy supply by on-shoring more gas production – a move climate experts have previously strongly condemned – rather than ramping up renewables.
Continue reading the full story: Truss lifts ban on fracking, and will prop up fossil fuel companies in energy crisis