Does EU's Energy Dependence on Russia Increase Price Volatility for Consumers?
Europe’s dependence on natural gas imports from Russia has raised questions about energy risk and the vulnerability of the European countries, especially after the supply cuts in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2012. The implementation of the Third Energy Package to finally unify European energy markets by linking the states located on the periphery to the well connected gas hubs in Northern Europe has been slow due to a lack of political will across Europe. This has enabled Russian Gazprom to retain its position as a major player in European markets and hinder any European effort to diversify the energy portfolio of the region. Using residential natural gas and electricity price data from 2000 through 2014, this paper analyzes the impact of EU’s import reliance on natural gas from Russia and the supply disruptions on the volatility of natural gas and electricity prices through a fixed effects regression model. Results indicate that while the size of Russian natural gas imports does not significantly affect natural gas and electricity price volatility in EU countries, security supply measures such as natural gas stocks matter, especially for Southeast European countries that consistently pay more according to the results. The paper concludes by discussing the importance of formulating policies that not only aim to reduce overall EU dependence but minimize Southeastern Europe’s vulnerabilities. Policy suggestions include increasing cross-border interconnectors and storage capacity as well as increasing LNG import capacity by building regasification terminals in periphery countries like Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia.
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Sinha, Akshay K (Georgetown University, 2015)Recent literature aims at understanding the linkages between macroeconomic factors and renewable energy growth, at both global and national levels. Most of these studies have focused on determinants such as income levels ...