After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the European economy, particularly the energy sector, suffered as Russia steeply cut the supply of natural gas and prices rose dramatically. Since then, with the additional urgency from climate change, environmentalists teamed up with national security hawks to try to free Europe from dependence on Russian oil and natural gas.
The European Union’s power supply changed significantly in the year following the onset of Russia's war on Ukraine, while new measures to conserve energy and reduce reliance on Russia have furthered the continent's green goals.
The European Union managed to reduce its energy demand by 4.2 percent, or 113 terawatt hours (TWh), during the 12 months following Russia’s invasion. The supply of solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources increased by 5.6 percent, or just below 40 TWh, countering the similarly sized decline in EU hydropower production experienced during the severe drought of 2022. Coal production increased by 15 TWh, but it was balanced out by a drop in power production from gas and other fossil fuel sources.
This transformation of the power supply is still a work in progress, but Europe is increasingly on course to meet its ambitious climate goals by 2030.
This PIIE Chart is adapted from Jacob Funk Kirkegaard’s Policy Brief, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has cemented the European Union's commitment to carbon pricing.