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Clean energy 's impact on global resource scarcity


Energy markets are starting to tighten in 2021, driven by a combination of factors including a rapid economic rebound following COVID-19. Natural gas prices hit record highs, and electricity prices climbed to record highs in some markets as a result. Oil prices hit their highest level since 2008.

High energy prices have fueled high inflation, impoverished many families, forced some factories to cut production or even shut down, slowed economic development, and pushed some countries into severe recession. Europe used to rely on Russia for natural gas supply, so it is particularly vulnerable, and may face natural gas supply restrictions this winter; at the same time, many emerging economies have experienced sharp increases in energy import expenditures and fuel shortages.

In the face of the global energy crisis, all countries have adopted certain countermeasures, which can be summarized in two aspects: ensuring the stable supply of traditional energy and accelerating the transformation and replacement of clean energy.

In response to this situation in Europe, the European Commission issued an energy plan called "REPowerEU". The main measures are divided into two parts: one is to diversify energy supply, increase the supply of liquefied natural gas from the United States, Canada, Norway, Egypt, Israel and other countries, continue to cooperate with major oil-producing countries in the Gulf region and Australia, and explore sub-Saharan Africa The country's oil export potential; the second is to accelerate the deployment of new energy sources, accelerate the launch of solar energy, wind energy and renewable hydrogen projects, increase biomethane production, promote industrial decarbonization, and increase Europe's 2030 renewable energy target from 40% to 45%.

In terms of ensuring oil supply, the most important move by the United States is to release about 1 million barrels of strategic oil reserves per day for six consecutive months since April this year, in order to cope with the tight global oil supply. Compared with the short-term response to oil price shocks, the transition to clean energy is a more important move for the United States. The government plans to achieve 100% clean electricity supply in 2035, and carry out the following transformation measures: invest in new technology research and development, promote the commercialization of solar energy and other technologies; accelerate solar energy, transformers and power grid components, heat pumps, insulation materials, and fuel cells and other new energy technologies Develop and ensure the security of the new energy supply chain; transform and upgrade new energy facilities such as industrial carbon reduction, decentralized energy storage, and geothermal power generation.