Europe’s Bid to Kick Russian Natural Gas Faces Opposition
Europe has a plan to stop buying Russian natural gas within five years by installing wind turbines and solar panels on a massive scale. But on the ground, a gauntlet of environmental groups, local opposition and bureaucracy stands in the way.
In Germany, Europe’s biggest buyer of Russian gas, wildlife protection groups routinely challenge wind farms, stretching their approval time to more than five years. In Italy, Europe’s second-biggest Russian gas consumer, authorities reject 90% of all wind energy projects. Permitting obstacles have slowed the development of utility-scale solar farms across the continent. Regulations and public opposition in Poland, France and Hungary have shut off large areas of the countries from wind-energy development.