Blog post

Interactive chart: How Europe can replace Russian gas

But how much would these options cost Europe and Russia? How do these options play together? Is there a preferred alternative, or perhaps there is an

Publishing date
27 March 2014

Based on interactions with various stakeholders we updated several figures on March 25th (you may need to clear you cache for the changes to be reflected in the chart below).

  • Increasing imports from North Africa by 15 bcm will be difficult, as existing pipeline capacities to Italy are fully used already, while increasing exports to Spain will not be helpful, as no additional gas can be brought from the Iberian Peninsula to the rest of Europe. We adjust our estimate to 5 bcm.
  • The numbers for district heating gas consumption were largely overstated. We correct the corresponding numbers to 10 bcm. As it is anyway the most expensive option, it would have only been selected as a last resort.
  • Switching district heating from gas to oil in the import constraint countries Finland, Latvia and Estonia is, however, possible. Switching in Lithuania seems to be more difficult. Here, in the short term other options need to be developed. In the medium term Lithuania will install a floating LNG regasification terminal to allow gas imports from international LNG markets.
  • Increasing production in the Netherlands is technically possible, possibly much more than the 20 bcm we put. However, the Dutch government might be quite reluctant to allow even 20 bcm of additional production, as it just issued legislation to reduce production in order to control the gas-production induced seismic activities. So it is a question of political will and compensations. Hence we stick to the 20 bcm/y.
  • Power production from natural gas plays an important role in the UK and Italy. It will not be possible to fully replace those plants, given the lack of alternative capacities. We corrected the potential gas savings from 60 bcm/y to 40 bcm/y.
  • With these adjustments, we conclude that up to 190 bcm of alternative supplies might be available for the coming year.

Last week, we analysed whether Europe could replace Russian gas, and we identified some options for Europe to do so. These included importing natural gas from other sources or increasing domestic production.

But how much would these options cost Europe and Russia? How do these options play together? Is there a preferred alternative, or perhaps there is an optimal policy mix? We try to answer these questions in the simulator below, computing the impact of different options.

The chart is interactive: to display a scenario relative to a particular mix of alternatives, select all the desired options on the left. An alternative can be deselected by clicking it again. A small description of every option can be found below the chart by hovering the mouse over its label. The values of the exports, imports, and the cost of the selected mix are always calculated on the basis of their relative cost. This means that the most expensive selected alternative will only be used up to the point of zero imports from Russia.

You can also save the chart in its current state by clicking the button below. Share your preferred mix of alternatives with @Bruegel_org by using the hastag #ReplacingRussia.


Note:the figures should not be taken as a detailed and complete estimate of the costs of adopting a certain mix of alternatives. This chart is meant to show the relative interplay among the alternatives, and to make simplified comparisons.


About the authors

  • Georg Zachmann

    Georg Zachmann is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel, where he has worked since 2009 on energy and climate policy. His work focuses on regional and distributional impacts of decarbonisation, the analysis and design of carbon, gas and electricity markets, and EU energy and climate policies. Previously, he worked at the German Ministry of Finance, the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, the energy think tank LARSEN in Paris, and the policy consultancy Berlin Economics.

  • Erik Dale

    Erik, a Norwegian citizen, was the Online Editor of Bruegel from April 2014 to November 2014. He joined Bruegel in December 2012 as the Digital Communications Coordinator. He holds an PG in European Integration and European Politics from the University of Essex and has a BA in European Studies from the University of Bergen.

    Prior to joining Bruegel, Erik worked as a Communication Officer at LOGOS Public Affairs, a consultancy specialising in consensus building and association management. He acquired experience in political communication on the executive board of the European Youth and a regional committee of the Young Liberals.

    Erik has been a contributor on contract to the public policy journal 'State & Governance' since 2008. He speaks fluent English, all Scandinavian languages (Norwegian, Swedish and Danish), and conversational German.

Related content


European natural gas imports

This dataset aggregates daily data on European natural gas import flows and storage levels.

Georg Zachmann, Ben McWilliams, Ugnė Keliauskaitė and Giovanni Sgaravatti