The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, participated as a guest in the council of the German government, her country, and there she exchanged views with the chancellor, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz.
Von der Leyen took advantage of the appointment to boast of having almost annulled Russia’s energy dependence in the midst of the Ukraine war and that, in addition, renewable energies continue to increase in their production, surpassing gas-generated electricity.
In the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine, Vladimir Putin “has failed in the fundamental objectives” that he had at the beginning of the conflict and Ukraine has not opted for the Russian side and is already a candidate country to form part of the EU.
She also highlighted the Russian president wanted to break the unity of the European Union due to the strong dependence of some of its members on Russian fossil fuels, which is a factor many believe was an influence in the Brexit vote. “The case was quite the opposite. Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas is now history. In 8 months, Russia reduced its gas exports to Europe by 80%. And we found ways to offset this together, through the hard work,” she said.
Von der Leyen thanked the allies for their energy contribution to compensate for the lack of Russian gas and oil: “It certainly helped that good friends like the United States and Norway supported us with liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas pipelines.” In addition, the president of the community executive highlighted that Europeans have reduced energy consumption by 20 % last year and that they have increased the production of renewable energies: “The results speak for themselves: in 2022, for the first time, Europe produced more electricity from wind farms and solar panels than from gas.”
Von der Leyen highlighted the “rapid growth in Europe” of renewables and clean energy: “We are world leaders in many clean technologies: just look at fuel cells, the hydrogen economy and wind turbines.”