According to a recent article on Bloomberg.com, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is favoring a new Liquefied Natural Gas Line (LNG), the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia. We all know that Germany is cold in winter. It gets a third of its natural gas heating needs from Russia, a market share Russia wants to maintain or grow. A proposed new gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, just won Merkel’s approval, which upsets Poland because the link would bypass Poland and Ukraine, which would both lose transit fees.
The 1,220 kilometer (758-mile) Nord Stream 2 undersea link to Germany initiated by Russia in 2015. Source: Gazprom
Competing suppliers including Norway and the U.S. want to increase their market share. European Union (EU) countries worry about over dependence on Russia for gas supplies, and what the new link would do to EU energy diversification objectives under the Paris Agreement. All very complicated, and whatever happens, there will be some discord. Germany’s support increases the probability that the Nord Stream 2 link will be built. It doesn’t appear as if anyone is thinking ahead to the transition already underway from high-carbon fossil fuels to lower-carbon ones and renewables. LNG is relatively low-carbon, but will it retain its share in Europe’s energy mix over the coming decades? Nor does it seem as if anyone is pondering the impact of the new LNG link on Germany’s and Poland’s large coal-based energy sectors.