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Qatar Says Soaring Prices Have Forced Europe To U-Turn On Green Energy Ambitions

The energy crisis and soaring energy prices have forced Europe into making a U-turn and burn more coal again in order to keep the lights on, according to the chief executive of one of the world’s top LNG exporters, QatarEnergy.

“Many countries, particularly in Europe which had been strong advocates of green energy and carbon-free future, have made a sudden and sharp U-turn. Today, coal burning is once again on the rise, reaching its highest levels since 2014,” Saad Al-Kaabi, CEO at QatarEnergy and Minister of State for Energy Affairs, said at the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference 2022 in Tokyo on Thursday.  

“Sadly, the growing economic burden has fizzled the euphoria over the series of energy transition plans, causing severe erosion in public support for reducing carbon emissions,” Al-Kaabi said at the event as carried by Reuters.

Europe has said it is doubling down on clean energy sources to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and rogue fossil fuel providers such as Russia. However, the soaring price of natural gas has forced many governments in Europe to restart reserve coal or oil-fired capacity in recent months or to extend the availability of coal plants beyond their original phase-out date.  

Earlier this week, QatarEnergy’s Al-Kaabi said at the virtual Asia Green Growth Partnership Ministerial Meeting, “Inflationary pressures are impacting the oil and gas industry through rising production costs, delays in investment decisions, and increased policy uncertainty. Such developments caused a setback in the kind of serious energy transition the world needs in order to address the immediate challenges of climate change.” 

“Hydrocarbons are not going to disappear any time in the near future,” he said, adding “In this respect, natural gas is certainly the cleanest fossil fuel, and a much-needed reliable and economic solution to manage intermittency issues - when the sun is not shining, or when the wind is not blowing.”

Qatar plans a major expansion of its LNG export capacity and the current rush for LNG in Europe is a bullish sign for the LNG market going forward.

Last week, sources with knowledge of the plans told Reuters that German utility giants Uniper and RWE were close to signing long-term deals with Qatar for supply from its expanded LNG export capacity, to replace Russian gas.


By Josh Owens for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 29 2022 said:
    Economics and energy security always take precedence over energy transition and the dictates of climate change .

    That is why the EU who has pompously been lecturing the world on daily basis about energy transition was forced into making a U-turn and burn more coal when natural gas prices started to skyrocket. As a result, coal use has reached its highest level since 2014. Moreover, this has also caused an erosion in public support for reducing carbon emissions and also forced European countries to restart or extend coal-fired electricity generation plants plants beyond their original phase-out date.

    Let us hope that the world has got the message loud and clear that fossil fuels will continue to drive the global economy throughout the 21st century and probably far beyond.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • steve Clark on September 29 2022 said:
    There are only 2 useful and meaningful sources of green energy, Hydro Electric and Nuclear.

    That is it!!

    The rest need subsidies to work and or cannot be relied on due to weather. These sources actually destabilize the grid in any large (meaningful) percentage of total power.

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