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17. May 2022

All hands on deck as gas becomes a weapon of war — can renewables rise to the challenge?

For the energy industry, the steadily worsening Russia-Ukraine conflict is an illustration of an experiment gone horribly wrong. Deep business ties can often be the harbinger of stability even between regions or nations with steep political and socio-economic differences. The ties are eventually expected to become so strong that those other differences pale in comparison. The European Union perhaps symbolizes the most successful example of that experiment, where once warring nations have come together under a giant umbrella with shared goals, and today enjoy borderless trade and movement. But that very EU is at the receiving end of a similar attempt gone awry. Deepening dependence on natural resource-rich Russia over the past several decades to feed a large chunk of its energy needs means that European policymakers are now scrambling to find alternative sources of supply sufficient to fill the gap as they seek to shun Russian volumes to isolate the nation for its invasion. With all sides digging in, and the geopolitical crisis steadily taking a turn for the worse, any move to punish Russia will mean that Europe must first feel the pain.