American Chemical Society
ef2c02556_si_001.pdf (1.03 MB)

Energy Security and Sustainability for the European Union after/during the Ukraine Crisis: A Perspective

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-13, 19:33 authored by Jingbo Louise Liu, Jinxia Fu, Stanislaus S. Wong, Sajid Bashir
The special military operation initiated by the Russian Federation (RF) against Ukraine has focused on the European Union (EU) and, to a lesser degree, U.S. fossil fuel resource dependency. The Russian Federation’s economy is heavily geared toward exports of carbon-based fuels. As a result of the proximity of the EU and Ukraine, these two entities are the largest importers of RF fossil fuels. Ukraine’s and EU’s large population and heavy industries utilize energy in large quantities. As a result of the overreliance on Russian carbon energy imports, the overall energy security index of the EU dropped by approximately 1–1.5% over the last 20 years. The energy security index can positively correlate with greenhouse emissions or a composite unit considering gas reserves and carbon dioxide emissions. To improve the EU energy security index, the EU imposed several phase-out energy bans in coordination with the U.K., U.S., Canada, Japan, and Australia in response to the ongoing crisis. An energy balance analysis demonstrates that an attractive option, namely, a hydrogen (H2) infrastructure upgrade at the EU regional level, is feasible. The infrastructure upgrade at the regional level could generate an energy equivalent substitution of 20 exajoules (1 × 1018 J) for heating and power to enable the EU to be free of energy imports from the RF for all carbon resources except oil. Further policy changes to facilitate a transition to sustainable resources, along with corresponding improvements in the efficiency of businesses, housing, and transport sector, could make the EU carbon neutral by 2050 and free from RF carbon imports before 2060.