One of the greatest challenges in the present geopolitical situation in Europe is ensuring energy security for the basic functioning of society and to maintain the operation of local businesses. Many years of dependence on natural resources from Russia contributed greatly in raising fears and concerns at the beginning of the year on the eve of a Russian invasion on Ukraine. The gradual breaking with supply directions and the need to diversify new sources of supply is an important challenge, especially for Central Europe, where until now these countries have been the main importers and key transport paths leading from Russia to Western Europe.
However, some Central European countries, having acknowledged their dependence on natural gas and crude oil imports, decided some years ago to start investing in diversification ahead of the current situation. These steps, have helped to partially mitigate the post-February 2022 shock, and also present a solid ground for further development. There is no doubt that the escalation of sanctions against Russia and the overall unstable situation in the energy markets provoke a reflection on future of the energy sector. How long it will take to completely diversify and how much it will cost, while keeping system security and the lights and heats on, remain a key question in the Central European energy sector.
In this paper, we present a snapshot of the energy sector in Central Europe and focus mainly on trends and developments related to the diversification of energy resources and its impact on the energy security of Central European countries. Through a set of data and figures, we would like to show how the region is evolving regarding energy supply and consumption and consider how it can change its overall dependence on imported fossil fuels, particularly from Russia. With this picture driven by numbers, we are willing to demonstrate the main challenges and obstacles in the diversification quest and how the EU strategic policy direction, embedded in RePower EU communication, can be achieved.