Scotty, EU needs more gas

Energy giant Gazprom stopped gas exports to Poland and Bulgaria last week after those countries refused to comply with Russian demands to switch to payment in roubles, and many other member countries are set to face the same issue around mid-May. Gas is a major provider of electricity production, and a key source of heat. European Union countries are split on how soon they wind down dependence on Russian energy supplies. There are two main challenges faced by members states – how to pay for Russian energy in a way which doesn’t breach or undermine EU sanctions, and also how to source and develop alternative supplies to move away from reliance on Russia.

In the EU, 25% of primary energy comes from Gas (2020). Europe gets about 40% of its natural gas from Russia, which is also the bloc’s main oil supplier. But some countries are more dependent on Russian fossil fuels than others, so sudden supply cuts could have huge economic impact.

Country (2020) Share of Gas in primary energy (%) Share of Russian
Gas (%)
Germany 26 49
UK 38 5
France 17 24
Italy 42 46
Spain 24 3
Poland 19 40
Austria 22 64
EU 25 40
USA 34 0
China 9 15


William Shatner and James Doohan, Star Trek: The Motion Picture by Robert Wise, 1979, Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser, 15.05.2022, Michael Race, 02.05.2022, Daniel Boffey, 26.04.2022, Statista Research Department, 03.03.2022