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The Warsaw Voice » Business » November 26, 2008
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New EU Energy Strategy
November 26, 2008 By L.¯.    
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To avoid potential cutoffs in gas supplies by Russian giant Gazprom, the European Commission wants to make the EU independent of the whims of producers. "We intend to reduce the Union's dependence on imports," said EC President José Barroso last week. Priorities include energy efficiency and sustainable projects.

The EU imports over half of the fuel it needs, including 63 percent of its gas. Its largest supplier of gas is Russia. Current EU energy policy is both expensive, with the cost of imports hovering about 700 euro per capita, and insecure. Eight EU member countries get all their gas from a single supplier. Plans to weaken the Russian grip on gas supplies include the construction of pipelines to transport gas from the Caspian Sea region and the Middle East to Europe. The EC also wants to incorporate power grids on the North Sea to harness power produced by wind farms.

If the current contingency planning concerning gas supplies proved insufficient, EU partners would offer assistance to individual EU member countries. Today's emergency plans define a crisis situation as when 20 percent of supplies to the whole Community are endangered. Now the threshold is expected to be lowered, but to what level has not been decided.
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