The European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, on Thursday said that the global energy system has been impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is “unprovoked and unjustified aggression” and makes clear that the European Union (EU) cannot rely on Russia as an energy partner.

Speaking at the first EU-India Green Hydrogen Forum, she emphasised that solar and hydrogen energy are both game changers for the energy transition.

‘Cannot rely on Russia’

“And whether we like it or not, the game-and our global energy system-has changed. Since February, it has been impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This unprovoked and unjustified aggression has made it clear to the EU that we cannot rely on Russia as our partner in energy. It means that the implementation of the European Green Deal is now even more urgent,” Simson added.

Terming the green transition as a strategic investment in energy security, Simson said, “Because any additional energy we generate from solar, wind, hydro power, or biomass means less dependence on fossil fuels. Meanwhile, we still face the challenge of changing climate.”

The European Commissioner said that the EU has ramped up efforts to ensure energy security.

Wake-up call

“As I mentioned already, we had a wake-up call this year with geopolitical events. As a result, we ramped up our efforts on hydrogen even further. In May, we came up with our REPowerEU Plan, our blueprint to become fully independent from Russian fossil fuels. As part of that, we aim to be at 45 per cent renewable energy in our mix by 2030,” she explained.

This is significantly more than the EU’s current agreed target of 32 per cent and includes an additional 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen, bringing our goal to 20 million by 2030.

Stressing on India and the EU’s cooperation in the clean energy transition, Simson said the EU and India can learn from one another on international standards, research and innovation as well as policy frameworks.

“Hydrogen can and should be central to the ongoing transition. I believe the EU and India are very much on the same page here and I look forward to see how we move forward together,” she noted.