G7 ministers discuss Europe’s energy security ahead of summit

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HAMBURG – Energy Ministers the G7 (Group of Seven Nations) were in Germany on for two days of talks on energy security and how to reduce Europe’s continued dependency on Russian energy exports.

The talks were part of the run-up to the G7 Summit in Elmau, Germany in one month’s time.

German Economy Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, who supervised energy issues, said the meeting would also focus on preparing for a world climate summit in Paris in December.

The European Union’s Energy Commissioner, Miguel Canete, said an ambitious treaty be agreed before the year was out but U.S. Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, said big challenges remained in the next six months before an agreement could be reached.

Moniz said there were serious energy security issues to deal with too, as the crisis in had shown.

The G7, comprising Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, Canada and the U.S., launched a 13-point initiative for energy security in 2014 in after the Ukraine crisis flared up.

European Commission data showed EU nations obtained 30 per cent of their natural gas and 35 per cent of their crude oil on average from Russia.

Germany boasted that 28 per cent of its electricity is generated by wind turbines, hydro dams and solar panels.

But that barely exceeded the imports of Russian gas, oil and coal, which met a quarter of German energy needs.
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The G7 plan included upgrading pipelines and gas storage to make it easier for European nations to import liquefied natural gas by ship from the Gulf.

Gabriel said that he hoped ministers would not focus on gas alone, but also pay attention to renewables.

However, conference delegations were flown to see German wind turbines offshore in the North Sea. (dpa/NAN)
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