From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Nord Stream Pipelines
Mains level : NA
The Nord Stream 1, Germany’s main source of gas from Russia, was recently shut down for scheduled maintenance work.
Why in news?
- There are growing concerns in European countries that Russia would shut down its gas supplies in retaliation against the current sanctions against Moscow.
What is Nord Stream 1?
- It is a system of offshore natural gas pipelines running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.
- Nord Stream 1 is a 1,224 km underwater gas pipeline that runs from Vyborg in northwest Russia to Lubmin in northeastern Germany via the Baltic Sea.
- Two further pipelines under construction running from Ust-Luga to Lubmin termed Nord Stream 2.
- Majority owned by the Russian energy giant Gazprom, the pipeline is the primary route through which its gas enters Germany.
Worry for Europe
- There have been growing concerns that there could be further restrictions to European gas supplies.
- European countries rely on Russian energy for their cold winters.
- But now they believe that Russia could weaponized their dependency as a response to their sanction due to the conflict in Ukraine.
What are Europe’s alternative sources of energy?
- As an alternative source for energy, European countries have increasingly turned towards the US, from whom they purchase liquified natural gas (LNG) that comes via ships.
- Since ship-delivered gas ends up being far more expensive, there are also attempts to get non-Russian pipeline gas from Norway and Azerbaijan.
- While EU countries were earlier seeking to phase out fossil fuels and emphasize renewable forms of energy, many are now returning to coal to deal with the energy crisis.