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Graham Watson: European renewable energy is answer to Gazprom gas crisis

February 7, 2012 3:06 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

"The freezing conditions across Europe highlight yet again the dangers of being so overly-reliant on Russia for a quarter of our gas. Gazprom has - understandably - diverted its supplies to keep Russian homes warm, leaving many European countries short and prices on the rise."

"And we just don't know what Gazprom will do next."

"But the wind is blowing harder than ever in the Scottish Hebrides and it is 15 C and sunny in southern Spain and Greece. If, instead of building gas pipelines, we were building electricity transmission infrastructure and switching from fossil fuels to wind and solar power, this week's energy outlook would be a different story. European renewables are the answer to our energy security."

"Indeed, the sun is also shining bright as ever in the Sahara. Importing electricity from North Africa would in fact be more secure than Russian gas, due to the larger number of potential trading partners and the fact that electricity cannot be switched off like gas. Electricity is the ultimate 'just in time' product: that which is not transmitted today is lost forever."