What the Ukrainian-Russian Conflict Means for Energy
As the Ukrainian-Russian conflict continues, it has enraged the rest of the world. This conflict has sparked widespread international outrage and the imposition of severe economic sanctions against Russia, a major global producer, and exporter of oil. Many onlookers have wondered, "How does this affect energy?"
Since the escalation of international isolation and sanctions against Russia, global oil prices have risen by roughly 10%, with crude oil now trading above $100 per barrel. Prices like these haven't been seen since 2014. Europe is heavily reliant on Russian crude oil. It is estimated that approximately 40% of all European gas imports and roughly 25% of its oil imports come directly from Russia. Because of the rise in crude oil barrel prices, gasoline and electricity prices are expected to rise in the coming months. Natural gas, a byproduct of crude oil used for heating and electricity, has already risen by more than 12% in Europe since last month. With conventional energy costs rising, many European countries are quickly looking to invest heavily in renewable energy, particularly solar.
On February 28th, 2022, Germany announced that it intends to source 100% of its energy from renewables by 2035. The announcement comes only four days after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Following the conflict, Germany and other European nations hope to become less reliant on Russian oil imports.
The Ukrainian-Russian conflict, combined with the immediate rise in prices of conventional energy sources, has resulted in a stock surge in renewable energy. Since the invasion began, Sunrun (RUN) is up 33%, Sunnova Energy International (NOVA) is up 32%, and Sunlight Financial (SUNL) is up 26%.
While renewable energy was already popular before the conflict, the invasion only accelerated the trend. Russia's consequential actions only made it clearer that the world was already moving towards renewable energy.