Europe: The Russian gas cut-off has pushed Europe on the backfoot as it seeks to save as much energy as possible and continue to subsist on the minimal energy resources. Russia has blocked the outflow of gas to Europe with the excuse of maintenance of a turbine at the Nord Stream 1 Pipeline.
Following this , the Europeans are looking for means to save maximum energy while cutting down unnecessary users of energy. Germany recently switched off all the lights at public monuments along with turning off the heating at the city-run buildings like leisure centres.
The European Union (EU) have been planning to gradually curtail the demand for gas and avoid blackouts during times of winter. Thus, these energy-saving methods are in line with the EU’s plan that aims at reducing energy consumption by 15% by the end of next March. All 17 states have agreed upon this target except Hungary, the only country to object to the proposals.
Considering the worst-case scenario of a total cut-off of gas from Russian pipelines, this is the best method to keep the country running throughout winters. Currently, the reductions are voluntary, but keeping in mind the brewing issues between Russia and Europe, these measures shall be made mandatory if circumstances demand.
Various countries have looked out for numerous measures to save energy at their levels. The air-conditioned shops in France have been instructed to keep doors shut, and penalties have been announced for failure to do so. Also, outdoor cafes and bar terraces are not permitted to be heated or cooled either. The government offices would be allowed to turn on ACs only if temperatures exceed 26 degrees.
Similarly, Germany has turned off hot water in showers and bath facilities at leisure centres. The municipal buildings cannot be heated to more than 20 degrees Celsius. Greece has launched an ‘operation thermostat’ with an ambition to reduce energy consumption by 10% this year.