May 2022 • Volume 15 • No 3 • Published monthly • ISSN 1757-7365
THE ENERGY INDUSTRY TIMES is published by Man in Black Media • www.mibmedia.com • Editor-in-Chief: Junior Isles • For all enquiries email: enquiries@teitimes.com
The rise of renewables requires
sophisticated energy contracting
and trading transactions.
Page 14
Pivoting away from
Russian gas
Trading places
Utilities take centre stage as
Europe pivots away from
Russian gas. Page 13
News In Brief
Economists question efforts
to protect energy users from
high prices
Economists have warned that many
of the measures to protect consumers
and businesses from soaring energy
prices, made worse by Russia’s
invasion of Ukraine, could backre.
Page 2
Biden administration to
underwrite nuclear power
plants at risk of closure
The US President Biden’s
administration is launching a $6
billion programme to support
nuclear power plants.
Page 4
Philippines accelerates
decarbonisation but coal will
remain king
The Philippines power sector is
ramping up its decarbonisation
efforts with a fast-growing pipeline
of renewable energy but coal will
still remain the dominant generating
source for the next decade.
Page 5
European countries raise
renewables ambition further
European governments, industry
and networks have agreed to fast-
forward offshore wind as part of an
even faster expansion of renewables,
in response to the Ukraine invasion.
Page 7
Renewables dominate
new generating capacity
New data released by the
International Renewable Energy
Agency (IRENA) shows that
renewable energy continued to grow
and gain momentum despite global
Page 8
Technology Focus:
Developing a ‘Virtual Energy
National Grid ESO has launched
an industry-wide programme to
develop a Virtual Energy System – a
digital twin of Great Britain’s entire
energy system. This centralised
tool offers the potential to create a
collective view of the UK’s entire
energy system.
Page 15
or call +44 208 523 2573
Russia has red its rst serious salvo of strikes against the European Union, as energy
becomes a weapon of war. Junior Isles
Germany’s Easter package sees profound changes to
wind energy policy
Final Word
Germany needed to pull a
rabbit out of a hat
this Easter, says
Junior Isles. Page 16
The unfolding energy war between
Europe and Russia escalated last
month, as the Europe Union began ef-
forts to ban Russian fossil fuel imports.
With relations worsening between the
two sides as a result of Russia’s ongo-
ing war in Ukraine, Moscow retaliated
by demanding payment for gas in
roubles and cutting gas supplies to Po-
land and Bulgaria.
In early April the EU proposed a ban
on Russian coal imports in what
would be the rst sanctions targeting
the country’s lucrative energy indus-
try. The Polish parliament had already
passed a ban on import and shipment
of coal from Russia and the Russia-
controlled Donetsk and Lugansk re-
gions in eastern Ukraine.
The EU-wide coal embargo is ex-
pected to come into effect from Au-
gust. After a wind-down of existing
contracts, new contracts will be
Ursula von der Leyen, European
Commission President, said the em-
bargo, worth around €4 billion, “will
cut another important revenue source
for Russia”.
In line with its climate ambitions,
the EU has been moving away from
coal. Coal use fell from 1.2 billion
tons a year to 427 million tons be-
tween 1990 and 2020, but imports
rose from 30 per cent to 60 per cent of
coal use.
Germany’s association of coal im-
porters said in March that Russian
coal could be replaced “in a few
months”. Indeed replacing Russian
coal would not be too difcult because
coal is transported by ship and there
are multiple global suppliers.
JPMorgan Chase & Co warned,
however, that banning Russian coal
imports will further hurt the conti-
nent’s energy markets, and countries
will have to pay more for supplies
The bank said in a report that Russia
will be able to nd buyers for its coal,
but Europe will have to turn to sup-
plies from South Africa, Australia
and the US in an already tight coal
market. That will increase the price at
which it is more protable for power
companies to burn coal rather than
natural gas.
Europe is also trying to wean itself
off Russian gas, a move that will be
far more difcult. The EU gets about
40 per cent of its natural gas from
Russia, and many EU countries, in-
cluding Germany – the bloc’s largest
economy – are opposed to cutting off
gas imports.
The decision, however, may have
Continued on Page 2
The German government has passed
the so-called “Easter Package”, setting
out the most profound changes to Ger-
man energy policy since the introduc-
tion of competitive auctions in 2017.
At the heart of the package are
changes to Germany’s Renewable
Energy Law (EEG) to enshrine a new
renewable energy target of 80 per cent
in total electricity consumption by
From 2025 onwards Germany wants
to install 10 GW of new onshore wind
energy every year. To deliver this ex-
pansion in onshore wind the govern-
ment proposal increases annual auc-
tion volumes to up to 12 GW. The
package also increases offshore wind
targets. This will see the country
achieve 30 GW of operational off-
shore wind by 2030, 40 GW by 2035,
and at least 70 GW by 2045.
To this end, the package adjusts an-
nual auction volumes as well as an-
nual wind energy installation targets.
Auction volumes will increase to up
to 12 GW per year. On this trajectory,
Germany would have 115 GW of
onshore wind by 2030.
Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO,
called the Easter Package “an out-
standing package of measures” that
will drive the expansion of wind en-
ergy, both onshore and offshore. “Big
auction volumes. A clear long-term
auction schedule. And crucially, ma-
jor steps to simplify the permitting of
wind farms – without which the tar-
gets would be purely academic. It’s a
great example for the rest of Europe,”
he said.
Since the war in Ukraine the govern-
ment has repeatedly stressed the es-
sential role of renewables for Germa-
ny’s energy security. Finance Minister
Christian Lindner had described re-
newables as “freedom energies”.
The Easter Package is not the last
legislative change for wind energy in
this political term. To reduce Ger-
many’s dependence on Russian fos-
sil fuel imports, Germany’s Econo-
my and Energy Minister Robert
Habeck has pledged to move forward
the announced “Summer Package”
to May.
This package will include a national
repowering strategy, new measures to
ensure sufcient sites for wind ener-
gy, improvements to permitting, and a
new strategy to harmonise the expan-
sion of wind energy with biodiversity
and nature protection.
Minister Habeck identied supply
chain disruptions, rising international
prices for raw materials and compo-
nents as well as a potential shortage in
sufciently skilled workers as the
main challenges to the expansion
ahead. He pledged to collaborate
closely with the German wind indus-
try to overcome these challenges and
to ensure the delivery of the ambitious
new volumes.
Tim Holt, Member of the Managing
Board of Siemens Energy, and Ten-
neT’s COO, Tim Meyerjürgens, both
commented on the challenges during
a recent press a tour of the DolWin
kappa offshore platform, being built
by Siemens as part of TenneT’s Dol-
Win6 grid connection project.
Holt said: “Currently we are really
ramping up our engineering capacity.
In terms of manufacturing capacity
we can handle the volume… what
Ukraine is now triggering is a focus
on the supply chain. How do we now
meet increased demand with a resil-
ient supply chain? We need to sit
down and ask: do we continue the
strategy of global, compact, intercon-
nected supply chains or do we also
build-in additional resilience? These
are the discussions we are having be-
cause it will mean a fundamental shift
in supply chain strategy.”
Meyerjürgens added: “The targets
are very ambitious, some say overly-
ambitious if we look at the 2030 tar-
gets, since these projects take 6-7
years to construct. What is still lack-
ing, is the decisions we need to ac-
celerate. Licensing is one of the bot-
tlenecks. Another is caused by
changing the scope of ongoing proj-
ects. We were asked by the govern-
ment to come with a proposal on how
the 30 GW can be connected by
2030. We have done a proposal with
the other two German TSOs on how
it’s feasible.”
Energy war escalates as
Energy war escalates as
EU bans coal imports and
EU bans coal imports and
Russia imposes rst
Russia imposes rst
blocks on gas
blocks on gas
Putin: “unfriendly”
countries must pay for gas in roubles
Junior Isles
The Intergovernmental Panel on Cli-
mate Change (IPCC) has issued a re-
port saying the world has the tools and
know-how required to limit warming
and halve emissions by 2030, but the
world must act now.
The report notes that major transi-
tions in the energy sector will be re-
quired to reach this target. This will
involve a substantial reduction in fossil
fuel use, widespread electrication,
improved energy efciency, and use of
alternative fuels (such as hydrogen).
Without this, the IPCC warns that
limiting global warming to 1.5°C is
beyond reach.
“We are at a crossroads. The deci-
sions we make now can secure a live-
able future. We have the tools and
know-how required to limit warming,”
said IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee.
“I am encouraged by climate action
being taken in many countries. There
are policies, regulations and market
instruments that are proving effective.
If these are scaled up and applied more
widely and equitably, they can support
deep emissions reductions and stimu-
late innovation.”
The report also demonstrates that
while nancial ows are a factor of
three to six times lower than levels
needed by 2030 to limit warming to
below 2°C, there is already sufcient
global capital and liquidity to close
investment gaps.
However, it relies on clear signalling
from governments and the interna-
tional community, including a stronger
alignment of public sector nance and
Without taking into account the eco-
nomic benets of reduced adaptation
costs or avoided climate impacts,
global Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
would be just a few percentage points
lower in 2050 if we take the actions
necessary to limit warming to 2°C or
below, compared to maintaining cur-
rent policies, said the IPCC.
According to the report, having the
right policies, infrastructure and
technology in place to enable changes
to lifestyles and behaviour can result
in a 40-70 per cent reduction in green-
house gas emissions by 2050.
The IPCC says the next few years are
“It’s now or never, if we want to
limit global warming to 1.5°C,” said
IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Jim
Skea. “Without immediate and deep
emissions reductions across all sectors,
it will be impossible.”
In the scenarios assessed, limiting
warming to around 1.5°C requires
global greenhouse gas emissions to
peak before 2025 at the latest, and be
reduced by 43 per cent by 2030; at the
same time, methane would also need
to be reduced by about a third. It says,
however, that even if this is achieved,
it is “almost inevitable” that the tem-
perature threshold will be exceeded
temporarily but could return to below
it by the end of the century.
It noted that the industrial sector ac-
counts for about a quarter of global
emissions. The reports stresses that
achieving net zero will be challenging
and will require new production pro-
cesses, low and zero emissions elec-
tricity, hydrogen, and, where neces-
sary, carbon capture and storage.
Notably, at the end of March the Eu-
ropean Commission allocated €1.1bil-
lion to seven large-scale climate proj-
ects, including a “CCS value chain”
scheme based in Belgium to capture,
liquefy, ship, and permanently store
Sushil Purohit, President of Wärtsilä
Energy said the IPCC report would
give the carbon removal industry a “bit
of a boost”. Wärtsilä Energy has in-
vested in one so-called direct air cap-
ture start-up, Soletair Power. “We will
keep looking at this space with some
interest,” he said.
Meanwhile, following the release of
the IPCC report, Swiss-based Clime-
works, which builds direct air capture
systems said it had raised $600 million
from investors including the Singapor-
ean fund GIC, and Edinburgh-based
Baillie Gifford.
been taken out of EU hands when
Russian President Vladimir Putin
signed a decree demanding that na-
tions deemed “unfriendly” must
pay for gas deliveries in roubles
from April, using an account in the
Russian currency at Gazprombank,
or face a halt in supplies.
Poland and Bulgaria became the
rst victims of the decree when Rus-
sia halted gas supplies to the coun-
tries following their refusal to pay
in roubles. Supplies from Gazprom
cover about 50 per cent of Poland’s
consumption and about 90 per cent
of Bulgaria’s.
Commenting on the Kremlin’s
decision, von der Leyen said Russia
was using gas “as an instrument of
Nathan Piper, head of oil and gas
research at Investec, told the BBC
the halting of supplies to Poland and
Bulgaria was the “start of Russia
exerting economic pressure on Eu-
rope”, and a move which could
“escalate” with other EU nations.
Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minis-
ter said the country could cope
without Gazprom’s gas and had
“taken some decisions many years
ago to prepare for such a situation”.
Its climate ministry said the coun-
try’s energy supplies were secure.
Climate Minister Anna Moskwa
said there was no need to draw gas
from reserves, and gas to custom-
ers would not be cut.
Poland was already planning to
stop importing Russian gas by the
end of the year, when its long-term
supply contract with Gazprom
Marcin Przydacz, Poland’s Un-
dersecretary of State for Security,
the Americas, Asia and Eastern
Policy, told the BBC there were “op-
tions to get the gas from other part-
ners”, including the US and gulf
nations. “I’m pretty sure that we will
manage to handle this,” he said.
Elsewhere, other countries have
been taking steps in preparation for
suspension of gas from Russia.
At the beginning of April Lithu-
ania became the rst EU country to
cut off Russian gas supplies com-
pletely, with the two other Baltic
states also temporarily stopping
their ow in response to Moscow’s
invasion of Ukraine. Russian gas
also stopped owing into Estonia
and Latvia on April 1.
The three Baltic states have been
among the loudest voices urging the
EU to end its members’ dependence
on Russian oil and gas.
Meanwhile, in late April the Dan-
ish government made a new pro-
posal to accelerate and expand the
development of new energy is-
lands. Denmark already plans to
build the world’s rst energy island
in the North Sea, with a maximum
capacity of 10 GW. Another energy
hub will be established on the is-
land of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea
with a capacity of 2 GW. A provi-
sional estimate shows an initial
demand for at least 35 GW of off-
shore wind from the Danish parts
of the North Sea.
Continued from Page 1
Economists have warned that many of
the measures to protect consumers and
businesses from soaring energy prices,
made worse by Russia’s invasion of
Ukraine, could backre.
Germany, France, Italy and Spain –
the EU’s four largest countries – plan
to cut taxes or fund rebates on fuel,
electricity or natural gas, in an attempt
to shield their economies from spiral-
ling costs.
However, some economists argue
that the series of measures, amounting
to €80 billion, may exacerbate the
problem by reducing the incentive for
households and businesses to reduce
their consumption of electricity and
fuel, thus making it harder to reduce
dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
Rüdiger Bachmann, Economics Pro-
fessor at the University of Notre-
Dame, said: “You want the price
mechanism to have its effect, by signal-
ling that a good is scarce, so people
decide if they want to change their
The Bruegel think-tank found that 17
countries were also cutting taxes or
duties on energy, while 10 countries
were regulating retail energy prices and
three were regulating wholesale prices.
The French government has capped
the increase in household electricity
bills, a move expected to slash French
state-owned energy group, EDF’s
earnings by €10 billion when com-
bined with a requirement to sell its
nuclear power below wholesale rates.
Klaus Adam, Economics Professor at
the University of Mannheim, stated in
the Financial Times: “The subsidy on
household energy is crazy – it reduces
the incentive to reduce energy con-
sumption. Give everyone an amount
each month and let them decide if they
want to use it to pay the higher gas
prices or if they want to save energy
consumption and spend it on some-
thing else.”
Veronika Grimm, a member of the
council of economic experts, which
advises the German government, crit-
icised the latest package of measures
announced last month to help busi-
nesses with high energy prices.
The package will include a time-
limited and “narrowly dened cost
subsidy” for companies whose elec-
tricity costs have at least doubled since
last year. “It is very unfortunate to
subsidise the use of fossil fuels by di-
rectly subsidising energy consump-
tion,” Grimm told Die Welt newspaper.
“Ultimately, this keeps the gas price
high on the exchanges.”
At the end of March Spain and Por-
tugal submitted a proposal to the Eu-
ropean Commission requesting per-
mission to set a maximum reference
price for gas of €30/MWh and thus
force a sharp reduction in the price of
electricity. If accepted, experts esti-
mate that the price of electricity would
fall from over €200/MWh at present to
around €100/MWh. The proposal has
been met with concern by the Euro-
pean Commission, which believes
such a low ceiling could distort the
market beyond what is acceptable.
The President of the European Com-
mission, Ursula Von der Leyen, has
committed to “special treatment” for
Spain and Portugal due to the Iberian
peninsula energy island status.
Short-term interventions addressing
the current energy crisis must be ac-
companied by a steadfast focus on
mid- and long-term goals of the en-
ergy transition, according to the World
Energy Transitions Outlook (WTO)
Launched by the International Re-
newable Energy Agency (IRENA),
the WTO sets out priority areas and
actions based on available technolo-
gies that must be realised by 2030 to
achieve net zero emissions by mid-
century. It also takes stock of progress
across all energy uses to date, clearly
showing that the current pace and
scale of the renewables-based transi-
tion is inadequate.
“The energy transition is far from
being on track and anything short of
radical action in the coming years will
diminish, even eliminate chances to
meet our climate goals,” said Fran-
cesco La Camera, Director-General of
The Outlook sees investment needs
of $5.7 trillion per year until 2030
including the imperative to redirect
$0.7 trillion annually away from fos-
sil fuels to avoid stranded assets. But
investing in the transition would bring
concrete socioeconomic and welfare
benets, adding 85 million jobs
worldwide, it said.
Meanwhile, a new rst-of-its-kind
modelling commissioned by Carbon-
Free Europe claims that the optimal
energy mix for Europe to achieve its
net zero goals at lowest cost would be
to generate 20 per cent of its electric-
ity from nuclear, 18 per cent from
offshore wind, 27 per cent from
onshore wind, 27 per cent from solar,
and 8 per cent other resources like
biomass, geothermal, and hydropow-
er by 2050.
Pursuing a 100 per cent renewable
energy strategy would cost the EU at
least €80 billion ($84.3 billion) more
a year by 2050, it says, and require the
bloc to quadruple its electricity gen-
eration compared to a tripling in
other net zero pathways.
The modelling also calculates the
EU needs to add over 2000 GW of
clean energy by 2050.
Headline News
Economists question efforts to protect
Economists question efforts to protect
energy users from high prices
energy users from high prices
Energy transition is key to tackling global energy and climate crisis
Energy transition is key to tackling global energy and climate crisis
IPCC urges immediate action
IPCC urges immediate action
to halve emissions by 2030
to halve emissions by 2030
Piper: halting gas supplies is
“the start of exerting economic
pressure on Europe”
n “Almost inevitable” the temperature threshold will be exceeded temporarily
n Right policies, infrastructure and technology can result in a 40-70 per cent reduction in
emissions by 2050.
INNIO* is among the world’s
leaders in CCHP solutions.
INNIO’s exible, innovative trigeneration plants offer
combined cooling, heat and power
that can cut your data center’s CO
footprint by up to
50 %** while saving more than 20 % of the primary
energy used. A modular CCHP plant provides you with
the security and independence you need to power
your data center. INNIO’s CCHP systems run on a wide
range of gases with the option of converting to
-free H
*** operation once that fuel is more
readily available.
Join us on our path for a sustainable future!
* Indicates a trademark.
** Depending on the energy mix.
*** Optional scope on demand.
Secure and efcient
A22001_05_INNIO_Data_Center_250x328mm.indd 1A22001_05_INNIO_Data_Center_250x328mm.indd 1 07.04.22 17:3207.04.22 17:32
Programme live
Exhibition sold-out
Book now!
Event partners
Supported By
نﺎﻴﻬﻧ لآ ﺪﻳاز ﻦﺑ ﺪﻤﺤﻣ ﻦﺑ ﺪﻟﺎﺧ ﺦﻴﺸﻟا ﻮﻤﺴﻟا ﺐﺣﺎﺻ ﺔﻳﺎﻋر ﺖﺤﺗ
+971 4 445 3693
#WUC #WUCCongress
Strategic Insights
Partner Hydrogen Theatre
Look towards a brighter energy future
at Gastech Milan 2022
Be a part of the conversation to enable a low-carbon and aff ordable energy
future for all at Gastech’s 50th anniversary. Showcase your technologies to
the world and exhibit at the leading natural gas, LNG, hydrogen and low-
carbon solutions event, Gastech Milan, 2022.
Book your stand today by visiting gastechevent.com/exhibit,
call +44 (0) 20 4551 1602 or email sales@gastechevent.com
1,0 0
country pavilions
Host Region Host City Host Venue Organised byUnder the patronage of Supported by
GT22 Exprom adv 12x16.indd 1GT22 Exprom adv 12x16.indd 1 29/03/2022 11:4029/03/2022 11:40
For a renewable, decentralized and digital energy industry
Cross-sector solutions for electricity, heat and mobility
From the latest insights to current best practice examples
Meet 1,450 exhibitors and 50,000+ energy experts at four parallel exhibitions
Be Part of the Leading Energy Exhibitions and Conferences at The smarter E Europe
The Innovation Hub
for New Energy Solutions
he ongoing conict in Ukraine
has prompted the European
Commission to make a major
shift in its energy policy. The RE-
PowerEU plan unveiled in March
2022 aims to diversify Europe’s
gas supplies, replace gas in heating
and power generation, and overall
reduce the EU’s demand for Russian
gas by two-thirds by 2023.
The EU currently imports 90 per
cent of the gas it consumes and, on
average, 40 per cent comes from
Russia. Given the lack of adequate
supply on offer from alternative
sources, replacing the 140 billion cu-
bic metres (bcm) per year currently
imported from Russia will be chal-
lenging. Indeed, gas storage levels
are running well lower than the tar-
geted 80 per cent, and Europe’s own
gas production has long been in
structural decline. Furthermore, most
of the world’s liqueed natural gas
(LNG) production is currently
locked into long-term contracts with
pre-agreed destination clauses and
large supply increments are unlikely
before 2026.
Under the most optimistic scenar-
io, Europe could source up to 50
bcm of gas from alternative sources
before winter 2022. According to
S&P Global Platts Analytics, this
would most likely come from inter-
national imports of LNG (25 bcm),
Italy’s strategic reserve (4.6 bcm), a
potential increase in Norwegian pro-
duction (10 bcm), additional ows
to Italy from Algeria and Libya (10
bcm and 4 bcm, respectively), and
increased production in the Nether-
lands (2 bcm).
This leaves a considerable short-
fall, leading to some demand de-
struction. This tension on gas supply
is likely to prompt a surge in gas
prices and with gas remaining the
primary price-setter for European
power prices, a hike in spot and for-
ward power prices will mechanically
The price hike has wider implica-
tions. S&P Global Ratings had al-
ready anticipated an increase in pow-
er prices precipitated by the ongoing
energy transition, owing to the clo-
sure of coal and lignite plants and the
decommissioning of nuclear power
plants. The ongoing drive towards
decarbonisation therefore places an
even greater importance on gas
further accentuating its role in deter-
mining European power prices.
Indeed, the TTF, Europe’s main gas
index, is currently trading 10x higher
than its 2020 average and above its
previous peak in December 2021
something that, at the time, led to
heavy margin calls by main market
Rising prices will inevitably have
wider economic fallout, and some
energy-intensive industrial sectors
like fertilisers, steel, and paper could
face temporary plant closures with
repercussions for the Eurozone’s
GDP growth. Indeed, in light of the
ongoing Russia-Ukraine conict,
S&P forecasts a GDP decline of
about 1.2 per cent in Europe for
2022. The potential escalation of the
military conict in Ukraine, its ex-
pansion across a wider geographic
area, or the broadening of sanctions
on Russia’s energy exports would
also bring further macroeconomic
Looking ahead to 2023 and 2024,
S&P anticipates that the rate of eco-
nomic growth will be largely un-
changed, while ination will jump 2
per cent. And while the high volatili-
ty makes predictions difcult, for-
ward gas prices could be up to three
times higher in 2023 and 2024 than
previously assumed.
Such high power prices place an
unsustainable burden on the Europe-
an economy, which the EU plans to
mitigate by introducing measures to
protect households and businesses.
Possible options being explored by
the European Commission include
imposing temporary price limits, of-
fering energy subsidies and vouchers
and tax reductions.
Considering the current exceptional
circumstances, individual member
states can set regulated prices for
vulnerable consumers, households,
and micro-enterprises to help protect
consumers and the economy. They
can also impose temporary tax mea-
sures on utility companies’ windfall
prots. As such, with most of their
operations hedged for 2022, utilities
do not stand to benet signicantly
from elevated prices. Furthermore,
government measures mean that
higher prices might not be forthcom-
ing next year either.
Utilities companies therefore face a
variety of considerations as they
adapt to the new environment. Large
European utilities generally manage
supply and trading risk by securing
prices on both the procurement and
sale of commodities. This hedging
policy allows them to make a margin
without being signicantly exposed
to volume or price risk. However, in
the event of disruption to gas deliv-
ery, hedging contracts will leave
companies exposed to market risks.
As the energy transition progress-
es and the geopolitical situation
continues to present risks, market
volatility will likely persist. Of
course, some key commodity mar-
ket players have adapted rapidly in
2022, supporting their credit quality
by renegotiating contracts, limiting
margin calls with key counterpar-
ties, using letters of credit (LCs) to
manage related cash risk with key
core banks, and securing additional
credit lines to manage liquidity.
Nevertheless, large working capital
swings are likely to continue.
Despite the turmoil, decarbonisa-
tion remains a key priority. Beyond
the diversication of gas sources,
the goal of reducing dependence on
Russian gas necessitates the acceler-
ated expansion of Europe’s renew-
able energy capacity. The Commis-
sion’s plans for renewables are
positive for utilities’ growth pros-
pects, even though they may require
companies to increase capital expen-
diture beyond what is planned.
Europe’s targets which require
adding between 45 and 55 GW of
renewable capacity a year this de-
cade are ambitious. Indeed, S&P
Global Ratings maintains that the
national targets envisaged by the
EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ package will be
difcult to achieve by 2030. Eu-
rope’s renewables roll-out faces
a number of obstacles, including bu-
reaucratic processes to obtain per-
mits and supply chain disruptions,
with a large proportion of necessary
components coming from China.
Of more immediate concern, how-
ever, is that, in light of the Russia-
Ukraine conict, Europe will likely
prioritise the security of its energy
supply over decarbonisation. This
implies greater use of carbon-inten-
sive energy sources to make up for
the shortfall in gas supply with
Germany already considering re-
opening some coal red power
plants. This move will likely support
earnings for the generation compa-
nies involved, even if the possibility
of earnings claw-backs remains due
to the current environment.
Furthermore, in light of these sup-
ply concerns, Europe seems to be
changing its attitude towards nuclear
energy. Few new nuclear plants have
been constructed in recent decades,
and questions have been raised as to
whether Europe has sufcient access
to skilled technical personnel. But
with power prices surging across the
continent, nuclear generation offers a
viable, low-carbon supply of energy
that supports Europe’s drive towards
energy independence.
Furthermore, extending the lifes-
pan of existing nuclear plants could
buy valuable time for the expansion
of renewables.
The EU’s Green Taxonomy, which
seeks to encourage sustainable in-
vestment, has recently been updated
to encompass nuclear energy under
certain conditions. At the same time,
concerns about the safety of nuclear
plants remain prevalent particular-
ly in view of the potential risks
posed to the nuclear facilities in
Ukraine including Zaporizhzhia
Europe’s largest plant and Cher-
nobyl, which is now non-operational.
In light of current events, the pow-
er market has to adapt to a new reali-
ty. The pivot away from Russian gas
could have long-term implications
for utilities and for the structure of
the power market. In accordance
with the energy transition’s acceler-
ated trajectory, gas and power utili-
ties will be expected to advance their
shift towards renewables. The EU is
also planning to invest in increasing
its capacity for decarbonised gas,
such as biomethane and hydrogen,
which will encourage investments in
new infrastructure faster than cur-
rently anticipated.
Additionally, the European Com-
mission is considering options such
as alternative pricing mechanisms to
optimise the electricity market’s de-
sign to promote renewable energy
generation and fostering green in-
vestments. This could well amount
to a move away from the merit order
mechanism, and reshape the Europe-
an energy market.
Claire Mauduit-Le Clercq is Direc-
tor, EMEA Utilities at S&P Global
Energy Outlook
In the midst of
an ambitious
drive, Europe is
now making energy
security its rst
priority. This shift has
clear implications
for utilities, explains
S&P Global Ratings’
Claire Mauduit-Le
Utilities take centre stage
Utilities take centre stage
as Europe pivots away
as Europe pivots away
from Russian gas
from Russian gas
Europe pipeline gas imports by
source. Source: S&P Global Power
This results in market participants
losing out on revenue because they
cannot respond to the new market.
However, by bringing technology
into the mix, we are beginning to see
energy market participants get ahead
of this trend and increase their
Volatility, and shorter-term and in-
traday trading will certainly provide
traders increased opportunities but
will, at the same time, give rise to
greater risk exposure. Market par-
ticipants need to be able to track po-
sitions and risk exposures in real-
time – not only to monitor risk but
also to trade opportunistically. The
market participants engaging in so-
phisticated energy contracting and
trading transactions to serve their
load efciently, protably, and in a
balanced fashion on a real-time basis
are using a robust digital commodity/
energy trading and risk management
(C/ETRM) solution.
A real-time integrated C/ETRM
system automates bid-to-bill business
processes that support the forecasting
and optimisation of trade cycles from
deal capture and contract manage-
ment to market integration. Market
participants can use these digital solu-
tions to tackle everything from pric-
ing and complex fees to trade conr-
mations to portfolio management and
valuations to environmental product
optimisation and more.
The advancement of renewable
energy has also brought about the
need to capture, track and redeem
tradable certicates related to emis-
sion allowances and energy attri-
butes. While the recording of a pur-
chase or sale of these certicates is
straight forward, the inventory man-
agement, expiration and cancellation
are more complex.
Nevertheless, there is a new revenue
opportunity with renewable energy.
As noted, energy attribute certicates
(EACs) – known as Guarantees of
Origin (GOO) in Europe, Renewable
Energy Certicates (REC) in North
America, and International RECs (I-
REC) in other geographies – are
growing in importance and volume as
renewable energy becomes a domi-
nant source of the energy mix.
Markets for EACs exist to encour-
age the supply of, and demand for,
certied renewable energy. These
markets for certied renewable en-
ergy are not only about providing
income to producers that can be in-
vested into new generation capacity
or create another revenue stream;
they are also about giving informa-
tion that allows consumers to decide
what kind of electricity (or green
gas) they want to use.
An EAC, such as a GOO, is one that
guarantees that 1 MWh of electricity
has been produced from renewable
energy sources. EACs are tradable
products with an expiration period of
one year from the date of certication.
Additionally, when the energy is de-
livered, the EAC is cancelled. If you
he past year has been marked by
some of the most extreme en-
ergy supply and demand shocks
ever seen. Events such as global lock-
downs caused by the Covid-19 pan-
demic, weather extremes and more
recently, the conict in Ukraine have
posed challenges for energy rms
around the world. For energy market
participants, these challenges come
against the already complex backdrop
of new market designs created to fa-
cilitate the integration of renewables
and the global move toward carbon
Last year, for the rst time, renew-
ables generated more electricity than
fossil fuels in the European Union a
trend noted around the world. While
increased renewables pose signicant
challenges to grid operators, they also
leave energy traders facing a new
landscape as well. Renewable genera-
tion is less predictable, which intro-
duces volatility, price uctuations and
rapidly changing market positions. It
requires power companies to make
decisions based on more information
sources than ever before.
This dynamic environment brings a
shift towards more frequent trading,
and market participants need to be
able to track positions and risk expo-
sures in real-time.
Ten years ago, the energy market
was based around the conventional,
centralised generation of oil and coal
plants. It was predictable and formu-
laic. Participants were able to suc-
cessfully navigate this relatively
simple market environment with a
basic strategy and manual processes
to track market transactions.
The fossil fuel staples of yesterday’s
energy market are no longer the future
of energy generation, however, and
outputs from wind and solar, are less
predictable than thermal generators.
This not only brings about changes in
how electricity is produced and con-
sumed, but also in the way energy is
traded. These renewable sources can
lead to either an abundance of gener-
ated power at low prices (even nega-
tive when the grid can’t absorb the
excess) or exactly the opposite, when
there is less wind or sunshine than
forecasted. Then thermal generators
are challenged to ll the gap.
Add to this the impact of localised
generation on transmission networks
and it’s clear how market positions
become more uncertain as renewable
energy supply increases. The volatile
and intermittent nature of renewable
resources introduces rapidly chang-
ing market positions, which requires
a market based on more short-term,
intraday trading.
In addition, decarbonisation efforts
have created a growing market in
green certicates receiving a boost
by the European Union’s ‘Fit for 55’
programme as well as the recent re-
port from the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) –
driving demand for tradable certi-
cates to offset CO
emissions to prove
electricity was generated by a renew-
able source. Managing this increased
volume requires new solutions to
manage risk, nancial and compli-
ance reporting.
Moreover, new consumer and busi-
ness demands, are calling for support
of business scenarios to serve their
needs for trade-to-trade matching and
peer-to-peer matching of electricity
deals (B2B and B2C) with a desired
set of certicates. As a result, whole-
sale market participants are facing
increased complexity – necessitating
automation and market integration.
This new landscape also requires
that market participants develop a
sound and multi-faceted energy port-
folio management strategy informed
by digital technology in order for
planners, portfolio managers, traders
and investors to make better eco-
nomic and strategic decisions that
support effective, successful opera-
tions. Many companies however,
continue to rely on manual processes
and spreadsheets to track their mar-
ket access activities. Yet manual and
un-integrated system processes can
no longer handle the complex and
varied nature of all of the compo-
nents. Un-integrated systems lack
the visibility and risk controls neces-
sary for effective portfolio manage-
ment and optimisation.
own the EACs associated with your
renewable energy project’s electricity
output, you can sell these EACs to
another party. In doing so, you forfeit
the ability to make any claims about
“using” renewable energy, but gener-
ate a new revenue stream.
The revenue is a function of the
system’s kWh output and the market
price of EACs. Voluntary demand
continues to grow, partly because of
the growing realisation that EACs
are the evidence behind renewable
energy Power Purchase Agreements.
In addition, regulatory changes, such
as the growing adoption of full dis-
closure is driving the voluntary mar-
ket. In the next 10 years, the EAC
volume is projected to continue its
current growth rate (accumulated
volume between 2020 and 2030 12
000TWh), while prices are forecasted
to more than double.
Businesses that focus on this ex-
panding market will have more op-
portunities down the line.
Businesses around the globe are
making urgent and signicant com-
mitments to save the planet, and in
fact, environmental stewardship is
now necessary for future competi-
tiveness. In recent years, potential
employees and other corporate
stakeholders have become more fo-
cused on a company’s purpose and
core values as well as its sustainabil-
ity record. They even use it as a pri-
mary factor in their decision to join or
invest. They have increasing expecta-
tions about the origin of the power
consumed. They expect companies to
document, report and track electricity
consumed from renewable sources.
Market-based instruments such as
GOOs are an effective way to increase
the market momentum for renewable
energy. Buying GOOs sends a signal
to the market that the company prefers
to consume renewable energy and it
shows the organisation’s commitment
to changing energy behaviour. This
presents a growing opportunity to sell
to more companies seeking to do
good for the planet.
The carbon-neutral world is electric.
Analysis comparing and contrasting
multiple recent studies of the evolu-
tion of the total world energy system
shows that global electricity con-
sumption will more than double from
20 per cent today to over 40 per cent
of total energy demand by 2050. For
this to happen, increasingly larger
volumes of renewables will need to
be connected to the world’s grids and
incorporated into energy markets.
With the right technology and digital
tools, market participants will be
ready and able to assess the opportu-
nities and risks that come along with
this new landscape. Moreover, they
will be positioned to play a dominant
role in a truly sustainable energy sys-
tem for today’s generations and those
to come.
Uday Baral is Head of Energy Plan-
ning & Trading, Hitachi Energy.
Industry Perspective
The global drive to net zero and the consequent increase in renewables, introduces challenges for grid operators and
new responsibilities for utilities. Hitachi Energy’s Uday Baral explores the need for utilities and other energy market
participants to engage in sophisticated energy contracting and trading transactions to serve their load efciently and
protably, while meeting sustainability goals within this new, dynamic context, and looks at the technology needed to
make that happen.
Real-time trading creates new,
Real-time trading creates new,
sustainable opportunities
sustainable opportunities
Baral: Volatility, and shorter-
term and intraday trading
will certainly provide traders
increased opportunities
ith the countdown to the
UK’s target for a decar-
bonised power system by
2035 in motion, the entire energy in-
dustry must combine efforts to reach
a sustainable future.
Already, the energy industry has
made impressive strides along the
path to decarbonisation while under-
going the transition to digitisation.
These two important transitions
working in parallel have been instru-
mental in helping to plan for the
changing demands on the energy
sector as other industries also under-
go changes as part of their own ef-
forts to reach net zero.
The next shared step is to capitalise
on the potential of a more dynamic,
joined-up and intelligent view of the
entire energy system. One that will
create something incalculably more
powerful, and one which offers the
potential to advance our progress on
net zero while driving benets to
consumers and suppliers alike.
That’s why last year National Grid
ESO launched an industry-wide pro-
gramme to develop the ‘Virtual En-
ergy System’ – a digital twin of
Great Britain’s entire energy system.
This centralised tool offers the po-
tential to create a collective view of
the energy system: supporting fore-
casting, decision-making and inno-
vation while informing improve-
ments to the physical system.
The Virtual Energy System begins
with an open framework, with
agreed access, operations and securi-
ty protocols. Over time, this is popu-
lated by existing and new digital
twins – replicas of physical compo-
nents of our energy system. Each
digital twin will contribute to and ac-
cess real-time data on the status and
operation of other elements of the
system. This layered data then gen-
erates insight, and a virtual environ-
ment with the potential to transform
the system and support the transition
to net zero.
Digital twins are already at the
forefront of delivering benets
across an array of sectors. From
helping F1 teams model driving pat-
terns, to developing strategies to
build smarter cities, digital twins are
revolutionising the way we perform
simulations and improve operations.
To leverage the opportunity that an
integrated network provides, howev-
er, we must consistently feed digital
twins with relevant and accurate
contextualised data. As such, foster-
ing collaboration is vital to meeting
net zero goals.
Consumers are also in line to bene-
t when the industry embraces mod-
elling scenarios that aid decarbonisa-
tion. With more accurate projections
of how the network functions, it will
be easier to share data with custom-
ers to help them to reduce emissions
and usage costs.
With planning and development
well under way, the next steps in
bringing the Virtual Energy System
to life involve exploring use cases to
illustrate the efcacy of the system
and to highlight specic process-ori-
ented benets for businesses. As
with all transformative tech projects,
there are commercial considerations
and technical risks to consider to en-
sure the system is safe, secure, and
t for purpose.
The project is ambitious in its
aims, and success will depend on
participation at every level of the in-
dustry. And the challenges extend
beyond the practical implementation
of the digital replica. The socio-tech-
nical concerns of the project are far-
reaching. The need to establish how
this cross-industry collaboration will
look in areas such as regulatory and
legal issues, cyber security, and data
usage is therefore crucial.
It is vital that different elements of
the digital twin are compatible and
adhere to a Common Framework.
Earlier this year, National Grid ESO
announced it had appointed profes-
sional services rm, Arup, supported
by Energy Systems Catapult and Ice-
breaker One, to articulate the princi-
ples and framework needed for par-
ties to develop digital twins which
are interoperable and can interact
with the Virtual Energy System, us-
ing open data.
Development of the framework
provides an opportunity to bench-
mark how to connect digital twins
against international best practice
and standards. When it is under-
stood how the Virtual Energy Sys-
tem measures up on a global level,
it is then possible to harness the po-
tential for wider industry participa-
tion in making the grid greener and
more sustainable.
The Benchmarking Report detail-
ing key considerations for the cre-
ation of the Virtual Energy System
has recently been published.
The Virtual Energy System is an
important next step in helping the
energy industry achieve its goal of
reaching net zero. For those putting
it together, however, the rst chal-
lenge to overcome is that the push
for decarbonisation across the UK’s
energy system has already generated
so many strands and areas of work.
Across the energy industry and cen-
tral government there is debate about
which technologies should be used,
how we adapt to the changing re-
quirements of consumers and, ulti-
mately, about what the right choices
are to help us both decarbonise and
improve our energy offer.
Connecting these strands, and more
generally ensuring the sector is pull-
ing in the same direction, is the only
way forward, and the development
of the Virtual Energy System can
play a key role in helping to deliver
this connectivity. Arup, was tasked
with building the common frame-
work for the system, and necessarily
put connectivity and collaboration at
its heart.
This need for collaboration with
the sector has been a common thread
across its work at every stage. Arup
worked closely with industry stake-
holders from the outset in the devel-
opment of this common framework.
The key is to “collaborate on the
rules, compete on the game” – den-
ing the rules for all to use to feed
into the Virtual Energy System,
whilst acknowledging that these
stakeholders will undoubtedly end
up competing for business during
and after the creation of a decar-
bonised energy system.
Stakeholder engagement also has
to continue throughout the develop-
ment of the common framework.
Stakeholders must be engaged in or-
der to raise awareness of the Virtual
Energy System, to encourage their
involvement, and to ensure they
know how it will work with existing
programmes in the digital energy
Creating this common framework
began by developing an understand-
ing of current examples, carrying out
a benchmarking assessment of case
studies which existed across differ-
ent industries. These proved to be
few and far between – while the con-
cept of “digital twins” has been
around for years, creating connected
ecosystems of digital twins is a rela-
tively new space. The other sectors
in the UK and international energy
industries that have attempted it have
faced challenges. However, it is im-
portant to note that the benchmark-
ing assessment will prove to be an it-
erative activity, as more case studies
will appear in this developing mar-
ket over the coming months and
years which we can then apply learn-
ings from.
While the problems faced by others
creating similar systems highlighted
a range of technical challenges, they
also showed the clear emphasis on
the social challenges, and the socio-
technical nature of the common
framework – linked also to data,
people, and process. These ranged
from legal challenges over data shar-
ing, to difculties with interoperabil-
ity brought about by a lack of meta-
data standards, and to a general clear
need to focus our attention on educa-
tion, skills, and change management.
Identifying these socio-technical
factors became the top priority once
the benchmarking was completed,
with 14 identied across the areas of
people, process, data, and technolo-
gy. As well as tackling each of the
socio-technical areas that needed to
be addressed, each of them had to be
aligned with the recommendations
and ndings of the Energy Digitali-
sation Taskforce, which was pub-
lished in January. They also drew
from the practical experience gained
through the National Digital Twin
programme and its CReDo demon-
strator, and other industry-wide proj-
ects such as Open Banking and
Open Energy.
The development of this frame-
work has been no mean feat. The
team, including non-prot organisa-
tion Icebreaker One and leading en-
ergy system innovation centre Ener-
gy Systems Catapult, has a huge
amount of experience working in
the energy sector – providing
knowledge and expertise which has
been crucial.
This is a digital-rst system both
to aid the UK’s decarbonisation
transition and to adapt with the
times. It is National Grid ESO’s aim
to create harmonisation, using this
common framework to bring align-
ment and collaboration and thereby
create a more efcient, streamlined
system. For decarbonisation, for the
growth of technologies, and for data
and knowledge sharing – the Virtual
Energy System’s purpose is to help
the UK build an energy network for
the future.
Jonathan Barcroft is Common
Framework Workstream Lead at
National Grid ESO. Simon Evans is
Global Digital Energy Leader at
National Grid ESO
has launched
an industry-wide
programme to
develop a Virtual
Energy System – a
digital twin of Great
Britain’s entire
energy system.
This centralised
tool offers the
potential to create
a collective view
of the UK’s energy
system: supporting
and innovation
while informing
improvements to
the physical system.
Jonathan Barcroft
and Simon Evans
Developing a virtual energy system
Technology Focus
Evans: This is a digital-rst
system, both to aid the UK’s
decarbonisation transition and
to adapt with the times
Barcroft: With planning and development well under way, the
next step is bringing the Virtual Energy System to life
Final Word
aster may have come and gone
but some of those Easter eggs
and bunnies will remain un-
wrapped for some time yet. If anyone
was expecting Germany’s “Easter
Package” for energy to sweeten the
bitter effects of Russia’s war on
Ukraine, they will no doubt be feeling
no more encouraged than prior to its
announcement. But in truth, it is hard
to fathom what more could have been
Like the UK’s Energy Security
Strategy, which was unveiled at
around the same time last month, the
centrepiece of the Easter Package is
legislation aimed at doubling-down
on renewables in reaction to the en-
ergy crisis.
By amending the Renewable Energy
Sources Act (EEG), the German
Federal Government now plans to
generate almost all power from renew-
able energy sources by 2035. Under
the 500-page package announced by
Germany’s Economy and Energy
Minister Robert Habeck, the share of
renewable energy sources in gross
electricity consumption is to increase
to at least 80 per cent by 2030, up from
the previous target of more than 42 per
cent. It is one of the most comprehen-
sive amendments to the EEG since its
inception in 2000.
In addition, the government is to
provide relief for electricity consum-
ers. As of July 1, 2022, electricity
consumers will no longer have to pay
the Renewable Energy Sources Act
levy (“green power surcharge”) as part
of their electricity bill. Power suppli-
ers will pass on the resulting price
relief to end-consumers in full.
Overall it is an ambitious plan – one
that came as the EU prepared to ban
imports of Russian coal – but Russia
soon responded in what has now
become an energy war between Putin
and EU countries.
In late April Germany said it was
hoping to stop importing Russian oil
“within days”. And in what could be
seen as a warning shot to Germany
and others, Russia halted gas supplies
to Bulgaria and Poland for rejecting
its demand for payment in roubles.
The rm said services will not be
restored until payments are made in
the Russian currency.
Gazprom, the Russian gas export
monopoly, said in a statement it had
“completely suspended gas supplies
to Bulgargaz and PGNiG due to ab-
sence of payments in roubles”, refer-
ring to the Polish and Bulgarian gas
Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of
Russia’s lower house of parliament,
the Duma, said Gazprom had made
the right decision in suspending gas
supplies to Bulgaria and Poland and
said Moscow should do the same with
other “unfriendly” countries.
It is the toughest retaliation so far
against international sanctions over
the war on Ukraine; and although
hardly unexpected, has no doubt
struck fear and outrage in equal
measures across EU member states.
While Europe may be able to elimi-
nate oil and coal imports from Russia
fairly quickly, weaning itself off cheap
and abundant Russian natural gas,
which heats its houses, fuels its facto-
ries and drives its electric power
plants, is a much harder task.
With the decision on Poland and
Bulgaria, Russia seems to be rst
taking aim at its former Soviet-era
satellites – essentially, those easier to
bully. But the real question is how long
will it be before its tactics extend to
one of the big EU powerhouses like
Germany? It may not happen, as Putin
has much to lose. But so does the EU,
which is deeply concerned.
European Commission President
Ursula von der Leyen branded Gaz-
prom’s move as “blackmail” saying it
is “unjustied and unacceptable”.
With economic sanctions beginning to
bite, Gazprom and Putin would prob-
ably beg to differ.
In preparation for what might be on
the cards, in March the European
Commission proposed its outline of a
plan to make Europe independent from
Russian fossil fuels well before 2030,
starting with gas. Its REPowerEU
strategy will seek to diversify gas
supplies, speed up the roll-out of re-
newable gases and replace gas in
heating and power generation. This, it
believes, can reduce EU demand for
Russian gas by two thirds before the
end of the year.
Germany’s Easter Package aligns
with this strategy. The government has
put wind front and centre of its new
renewable goals. It is changing off-
shore wind legislation to reach the
new targets of 30 GW of operational
offshore wind by 2030, 40 GW by
2035, and at least 70 GW by 2045.
Offshore wind will be prioritised in
maritime spatial planning, permitting
procedures shortened and additional
staff hired in the permitting authorities.
On top of that the package plans to
auction sites that are not pre-devel-
oped. In the future, the expansion of
offshore wind in Germany would be
based on two equally important pil-
lars: auctions of sites that have already
been pre-surveyed by state authori-
ties on the one hand and auctions of
sites that have not yet been pre-devel-
oped on the other hand. Centrally
pre-developed areas would be auc-
tioned based on price, awarding 20-
year Contracts for Difference (CfDs)
to successful bidders. Not centrally
pre-developed areas would be auc-
tioned according to a catalogue of
criteria, which would also include
qualitative criteria.
The German government is also
looking into options of auctioning
wind energy in combination with re-
newable hydrogen production.
Central to the Easter Package is the
denition of renewable energies as an
“overriding matter of public interest
and public security”. This will speed
up the permitting of new renewables
projects and reduce delays caused by
legal appeals. Importantly, grid plan-
ning will be aligned with the acceler-
ated expansion of renewables – 36 new
grid expansion and optimisation
projects have been added.
It is a laudable package but will not
be easy to achieve. Commenting on
the challenges during a recent press
visit to update journalists on progress
at its DolWin kappa offshore con-
verter platform, which is part of the
DolWin6 grid connection, Tim
Meyerjürgens, Chief Operating Of-
cer at Tennet, the Dutch-German
transmission system Operator (TSO)
said: “We see very ambitious targets,
especially when looking to 2030. As
these projects take 6-7 years they have
to be existing projects or we will not
be able to complete them. But it is
positive that the government is so
ambitious because it now gives us the
opportunity to speed up and build-out
capacities to be able to deliver, espe-
cially after 2030.
“But we have to speed up licensing
procedures, and not just offshore. It’s
also the connections with the onshore
grid and transporting the energy from
the north to the load centres in the
south. And if you look at the offshore
grid, you still see licensing procedures
lasting on average, 10 years… the
Easter package offers some good rst
steps but they are just rst steps. Li-
censing [times] should be in the range
of what we need for [project] realisa-
tion, For AC lines, that time is about
two years. For the large DC corridors,
we have a construction time of about
four years, so four years of licensing
should be feasible and sufcient. Cur-
rently we see a lot of announcements
from politicians but not real decisions
to accelerate it.”
Having ruled out the possibility of
reversing its decision to close its nu-
clear plant, Germany is truly staring
down the barrel. It is difcult to see
what options it has if Russia decides
to take aim. But with such a move,
Russia would also be committing slow
suicide. The trick is to see who blinks
Germany’s proposal of an Easter
bunny to be enjoyed in just over a
decade from now is welcome. Unfor-
tunately, it is not enough. Nothing
short of pulling a rabbit out of a hat
will avert the impending emergency.
A not so magical Easter
Junior Isles
Cartoon: jemsoar.com