The Mean of the Globalization in Europe’s Energy Balance
World’s day to day life dependance on energy sources began with the Industrial Revolution in late 19 century. For about 70-90 years that was a time, when coal was the main energy source, production of goods highly rose and with it rose the standard of living, industry capacities and wealth of the households. Time passed and with the creation of the Coal and steel community in 1952 began the first steps of the European integration that in the end led to the creation of the European Union. Due to massive losses during two World wars, coal and steel industries were crucial for the cooperation within the continent and for the assurance of the common security. Nevertheless, it is worth to mention that even though energetic integration means deepening cooperation between parties, better opportunities, cheaper energy and quicker global supply chains, it also creates a big threat – integrated parties are dependent on each other, and one side’s crisis could become a huge problem for everyone. (The New Energy Security Paradigm. World Economic Forum. 2006.) Yet, biggest problems mainly come from the outside. Interdependence of the economies, financial targets, strong position of the non-democratic countries in international relations play a big role in the development of the global energy market.
The need to reduce dependance on imported energy sources was discussed already in year 2000 in the Green Paper Towards a European strategy for the security of energy supply. (Green Paper – Towards a European strategy for the security of energy supply / European Commission. 2000) In 2000s the focus was set on reduction of the use of energy by increasing energy efficiency and having a more diversified energy balance while also making an accent on the natural gas and renewable energy sources. (Данилин Н.А. c. 111–127.) Then, in 2006 another Green book provided more specific steps of the European energy transformation. The need to create diversified energy target within the European union becomes crucial and states need to act according to the common European interests. (Данилин Н.А. c. 111–127.)
But even though the need to reduce dependance on Russian energy sources was obvious, the diversification of the energy imports never took place before 2022 – Russia was and is Europe’s main energy importer. As for today energy diversification is no longer the technical question – it is the agenda of different ministries and sectors, the question of security and economical resistance of the state. Therefore, Europe needs to be aware of the fact, how important it is to create a powerful, sustainable, secure energy market. But despite the war in Ukraine, and despite every European country understands the importance of reducing energy dependence on Russia – Germany, which is the largest importer of Russian energy in Europe, imported energy resources from Russia worth 12.5 billion EUR in the first 100 days of the war. (Financing Putin’s war: Fossil fuel imports from Russia during the invasion of Ukraine)
So, if we take into consideration all mentioned above – the fact that Europe was not responding to Russia gaining power over European energy market, full scale war Russia began in Ukraine, low diversification of energy sources, growing demand for energy due to growing production and standards of living – there are several steps that need to be taken.
As for today new energy markets need to be discovered – the EU needs to diversify its energy market by finding new reliable partners such as Norway, states of North Africa, USA and Gulf states. And even though contracts on the construction of new pipelines were signed for a Trans-Anatolian pipeline from Azerbaijan to the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, and a Trans-Adriatic pipeline from there to Italy, the transition will take a lot of time (Centre for European Reform. How to reduce dependence on Russian gas). There is a need to mention that Europe reacted to the todays energy threats by creating the REPowerEU Plan in order to have more energy savings and provide diversification of energy supplies, growing the share of the renewable energy, investing and reducing fossil fuel consumption in industry and transport – this is still not enough and unfortunately does not cut of Russia from the common energy market. (European Commission. REPowerEU: A plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition)
THEREFORE, WE CONCLUDE THAT EUROPE NEEDS TO:
take specific measures: diversify energy supplies, increase the capacity of energy storage facilities, build interconnectors that allow the exchange of energy across borders, focus on the use of nuclear energy.
comprehensively consider the reduction of energy demand in production and the most energy-dependent sectors of the economy, while focusing on the use of the most environmentally friendly energy resources.
consider the fact that in the presence of a common market and the connection of the economies of the European Union, the energy portfolio affects not only the situation of a particular state, but also the energy security of the entire European Union.