Yuri Shafranik presenteert zich als het redelijke gezicht van de Russische energie-industrie. Hij is oud-minister van energie van de Russische Federatie en opteert voor samenwerking met andere landen, zoals de VS. Maar uiteindelijk zijn er grenzen aan wat hij kan zeggen. Iemand als Shafranik kan geen rode lijnen overschrijden. Dat is zijn tragiek. Hij verdedigt Nord Stream II dat hij als voordelig voor de Russische Federatie, de EU en Duitsland ziet. Vraag is of hij dat diep in zijn hart echt gelooft. In elk geval is Nord Stream II ongunstig voor de wereld. Mijn reactie bij deze video op You Tube:
The situation has not become a Russian-American confrontation, but a German-American confrontation. The Russian Federation is less important than Germany. It can be a strategic partner for the US.
The EU Member States do not need Nord Stream II for the longer term. Both the EU’s energy policy (Third Energy Package) and the Paris Climate Agreement contradict it. Furthermore, the EU is serious about making the economy more sustainable. All these aspects diminish the importance of Nord Stream II. It may still have a function until 2030, but a 50-year horizon as Gazprom believes is unrealistic.
The world is currently facing two enormous problems: global warming and the undermining of democracy in various countries. The remarkable thing is that in Nord Stream II these two problems come together. In other words, the gas pipeline not only symbolizes the climate problem and the rise of authoritarian regimes of which the Russian Federation is one, but it facilitates those two problems and gives them tailwind. Therefore Nord Stream II must be rejected.
Mr. Yuri Shafranik is right that Nord Stream II is built on a shaky foundation. But it is not the individual consumers, but the energy policy of the EU that can eventually bring the transition from Russian gas to the EU to a halt. If the Greens are in a good position to start in the German presidential elections in September 2021, the end for Nord Stream II will come even faster. The German Greens do not even want to commission the gas pipeline.
Nord Stream II has had a long planning. On the drawing board it had relevance, but during construction it was overtaken by reality. This has not so much to do with the geopolitical position of the US or with the opportunism of German politicians and business, but with the climate problem in which fossil fuels such as gas will not fit in the future.
Because the standards for energy are being raised. It may be that in the short term gas is still considered relatively clean compared to coal and brown coal, but natural gas is dirty compared to renewable energy. Therefore, when the relative advantage of gas has worn off, Nord Stream II will simply stop because gas is ‘contaminated’ as an energy carrier.
Gazprom would be wise to come up with an alternative to using the pipeline for the future beyond 2030. No longer gas from the Yamal peninsula, but for example the transport of hydrogen. Gazprom and partners would be wise to turn around now and start building hydrogen plants in northern Russia. The energy to generate it is available on site and the transport line has already been built. Natural gas plays a minor role in the energy mix of the future. It’s no use trying to straighten something that’s crooked. That’s old politics.
It is more sensible to follow an alternative path that is in line with the climate problem. That requires flexibility that is not (yet) available in the boardrooms of the energy companies and in the corridors of power in the Kremlin. Or in the television studios where the lobbyists for Nord Stream II tell their story.