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The risks of future fossil energy supply remain high

Myth

Even in the long run we will stay dependant on the import of fossil energy. Everything else is fiction.

Facts

The European Union is still highly dependant on fossil energy imports (54% dependency rate), Austria even has to import about two thirds of its energy. Energy security is a key factor in competitiveness. By reducing fossil energy consumption and expanding the use of renewable energy sources import dependency can be reduced.

High dependence on fossil energy imports

  • Norway
  • Russia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Azerbaijan
  • Nigeria
  • Libya
  • Algeria
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Others
  • Own production

Source: EU-Komm., EUstat

The oil price slump has led to lower costs for consumers and therefore cheaper energy imports for European countries. In 2014 EU member states nevertheless imported fossil energy amounting to a net value of 300 billion EUR (Austria 10 billion euro). EU energy import dependency was at 88 per cent for oil (Austria 90%) and 66 per cent for natural gas (Austria 84 per cent). The long-term future of oil prices is difficult to predict. High price volatility is likely. Even the International Energy Agency raised doubts on the duration of the so-called new oil and gas boom in the US. Expectations of a positive effect of low oil prices on economic growth have been disappointed in Austria. In contrast, Austrian businesses in the renewable energy sector are under pressure from lower oil prices. Volatile prices (for fossil energy) have negative effects on planning reliability. The Energiewende provides the opportunity to reduce fossil energy dependency and therefore costs and political dependency.