Faced with strong pressure resulting from the energy crisis, the European Union will seek to classify some natural gas and nuclear energy types as ‘green’ in January to mitigate the insufficiency of current supplies.
In this regard, the European Commission would propose to expand the group’s “sustainable financial taxonomy” by arguing that these sources generate “emissions below industry average and do not lock in polluting assets,” according to Reuters on Jan. 1.
In addition, to reinforce the proposal, these energy sources’ exploitation will be presented as a “transitional” activity.
For new nuclear power plant investment projects to be viable, they must plan for the safe disposal of radioactive waste and obtain permits within the next 24 years.
The requirements for natural gas production include the production of emissions of less than 270 g of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour (kWh), replacing a more polluting fossil fuel power plant, among others.
These extensions of the regulations generated criticism from some environmental advocates and EU green legislators.
“By including them… the Commission risks jeopardising the credibility of the EU’s role as a leading marketplace for sustainable finance,” said Greens chairman Philippe Lamberts.
No less contradictory is the closure of half of Germany’s nuclear power plants on Dec. 31, when Europe is facing one of the worst energy crises in its history and support for nuclear power as a low-carbon energy source is again being stepped up.
They will stop producing precisely one year from now, reducing nuclear power output to the equivalent of the energy produced by 1,000 wind turbines.
The decommissioning process will take 20 years and require an investment of $3.75 billion.
On the other hand, the high prices reached by energy supplies in both Europe and the United States have substantially slowed down the restrictions imposed on coal, whose production had fallen in recent years.
Electricity prices reached new highs in the face of record gas prices and one of the lowest windless summers in the last 60 years.
In this regard, the last coal-fired power stations received record sums to help keep the lights on this year in the UK.
The price of coal has also increased significantly; after being at $50 per tonne at the end of last year, it peaked at $298 to stabilize at $150 per tonne.
On the other hand, it should be noted that this high coal consumption is occurring amid a spate of environmentally friendly policies and controversial political decisions, such as the decommissioning of oil and gas-fired power plants.
Investments in fossil fuel projects have also been discouraged, all of which have led to a worldwide energy crisis, contrary to the projections of environmentalists.