Oxford study: Renewables could replace Russian gas in the EU by 2028

The Oxford Sustainable Finance Group, part of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the UK's University of Oxford, has presented a report, »The Race to replace,« on the economics of replacing Russian natural gas supplies to the EU. The key finding is that these supplies, which the study assumes to have accounted for about half of the EU’s natural gas needs in 2021, could be replaced by »green« energy, primarily wind and solar power, by 2028 with the right policy choices. This would be more economically advantageous than replacing Russian natural gas with fossil fuels from other sources.
The transition is »not only achievable, but offers multiple benefits,« says Gireesh Shrimali, co-author of the report: »Replacing natural gas with wind and solar energy eliminates the need to pay for gas in future.« The initial investment required from 2023 to 2028 is about € 512 billion ($ 561.8 billion), according to the report, 70 percent more than the amount that would be needed in a »business as usual« scenario according to the EU’s »Green Deal« plan established before the war in Ukraine. Almost half of that, € 254 billion, would be recovered over 30 years through lost gas imports alone. Overall, the net capital requirement would be 15 percent lower.

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