The International Energy Agency expected that Europe will face a “major crisis” during the coming winter, calling on the countries of the continent to find ways to deal with the natural gas supply crisis in the coming months.
“Europe will face economic and social problems this winter, against the backdrop of efforts to reduce dependence on Russian gas and the increase in energy costs due to the war in Ukraine,” said Fatih Birol, head of the (Paris-based) agency, during a seminar in the German capital, Berlin, on Thursday.
And he added, “The next winter will be more difficult than this winter (2022),” according to the “Associated Press” agency.
Birol referred to the fact that Russian gas supplies to Europe could end completely next year.
- Advertisement -
In the context, the head of the International Energy Agency said that Russia itself may feel some of the costly effects resulting from its differences with European countries.
He continued, “75 percent of Russia’s gas exports and 55 percent of its oil went to Europe before the war, so Moscow needs to find new markets for its production.”
Birol considered it “totally wrong” to assume that Russia would rely on Asia as an alternative market, pointing out that building pipelines across Siberia would take a decade, and that oil tankers needed ten times more time to reach customers in the East compared to Europe.
In this regard, Birol expected Russia to lose the energy battle, adding: “The International Energy Agency has calculated that Moscow will lose about a trillion dollars in revenue by 2030 because of its war in Ukraine.”
While noting that the energy crisis also has severe impacts on developing countries, Birol said it will help speed up the transition to alternatives to fossil fuels.