BERLIN/MADRID/COPENHAGEN, April 7 (Reuters) – Big companies aren’t waiting around for Europe to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels. With Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine deepening the region’s energy crisis, some are taking matters into their own hands.
Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE) is working to increase its energy independence this decade with investments in solar energy and wind farms, while the dawning realisation that prices of oil and gas may stay higher for longer is prompting ever more interest in new kinds of power supply agreements. read more
“In the short term it is of course about protecting energy security but in the long-term, accelerating the path to independence,” Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kaellenius said this week.
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The war in Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special operation”, has heaped further pressure on European energy markets where supply and demand were already roiled by the ripple effects of COVID-19.
A standoff with Russia over its demand to be paid in roubles for its gas — part of a wider economic tit-for-tat between Moscow and the West — has Brussels looking for alternatives to its biggest energy source.
Russia’s exports of crude and petroleum products to Europe are the second largest bilateral flow of oil between two trading partners, according to data from BP and Europe relies on Russia for 40% of its gas. The bloc is aiming to slash that by two thirds this year.
A global shortage of gas had pushed prices to record highs even before the Russian invasion, inflating the prices of alternatives – including dirtier ones such as diesel and coal.
Average diesel prices at the pump in Europe are now more expensive than gasoline for the first time …….