Hard though it may be, let’s try to keep politics out of the equation for a moment. Here are the basic facts: Russia has been playing a crucial role in supplying the European Union with natural gas.
It’s the most important source of gas for the bloc, with the country accounting for over 40 percent of overall EU gas imports. Norway is a close second; Algeria, Qatar and a few others have also made contributions to diversifying the bloc’s gas supplies.
What about gas from inside the EU?
There’s not that much at all, except the relatively big gas deposits in the Netherlands, with the Dutch being Germany’s third-largest source of gas deliveries at the moment.
But that’s going to change as the Netherlands will drop out completely as a gas supplier by the end of the next decade. Facing increasingly unsafe extraction conditions, the Dutch government has decided to reduce gas supplies by two-thirds as of 2022 and halt them completely by 2030.
Will gas remain important for the EU’s energy mix?
Hardly any economists would deny that gas will keep playing a critical role in the bloc, and for Germany in particular. There are several reasons for this, among them the EU’s efforts to meet its climate protection targets.