News / Europe

Britain Sets Out Europe's Energy Alternatives to Russia

FILE - The coal power plant 'Scholven' of German utility giant E.ON is seen in Gelsenkirchen, March 11, 2014.
FILE - The coal power plant 'Scholven' of German utility giant E.ON is seen in Gelsenkirchen, March 11, 2014.
Reuters
— Europe has a range of options to shore up its energy security and cut dependence on Russian supplies, including asking the United States to export more gas and working with Iraq, a British government document says.

Following Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, talks between European Union leaders in Brussels on Thursday and Friday are focusing on how Europe can make itself less reliant on Russian gas pumped via Ukraine.

The 28 EU states also want to be in a position to supply Ukraine with energy should Russia cut off supplies. They are expected to ask the Commission, the EU executive, to draw up an in-depth study of EU energy security by June this year.

Britain's discussion paper, circulated to other EU governments and seen by Reuters, calls for a 25-year plan as well as measures for the nearer term.

It says this week's talks “should make clear that Europe will work in a coordinated and expedited manner to reduce its high energy dependency rates”.

At their meeting in Brussels, EU leaders are also discussing to how ramp up their response to the crisis in Crimea, amid growing doubts over whether they are united enough to impose hard-hitting sanctions on Moscow.

The EU has however already taken steps to diversify its energy sources in response to previous crises when Russia cut off supplies to Ukraine.

It has backed a new link, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, to import Azeri gas and has improved infrastructure to allow gas to be pumped from the EU into Ukraine, rather than the other way round.

But analysts say that if Russia turned off supplies for any length of time, Europe would still face major problems.

Britain says in its discussion paper that exploration of how to ship Iraqi gas to Europe should be intensified, and cooperation with other strategic partners enhanced.

EU-U.S. energy talks should examine how to bring about gas exports from the United States to the European Union, it said, and consider how that could be reflected in transatlantic trade talks.

The United States has begun granting licenses to export liquefied natural gas, but progress has been slow because of political sensitivities about keeping most of the gas for domestic use in the United States.

Analysts say the natural destination for U.S. exports would be Asia, where gas prices are higher than in Europe, although even limited shipments to the European Union could be of help.

Britain - which only receives a small amount of Russian gas during peak winter demand via a pipeline link to continental Europe - is proposing U.S. gas as just one of many options.

It also urges EU authorities to help member states exploit their own resources through regulation on completion of a single, liberalized energy market and targeted aid.

Already Britain has successfully lobbied against more onerous EU legislation that might have thwarted its aim to develop shale gas.

With France's EDF, Britain is also seeking to build a new nuclear plant, but the Commission has raised concerns Britain's funding plans break EU competition law.

“The European Commission should prioritize energy state aid cases to facilitate rapid deployment of infrastructure in the EU ensuring security of supply,” the discussion paper says.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid