MOSCOW, April 2 (PRIME) - Europe will have to spend up to $215 billion through investments if it decides to stop buying Russian natural gas, US-based financial research company Sanford C. Bernstein & Co said Wednesday.
"Europe needs natural gas demand to go down by 15 billion cubic meters to be able to stop purchasing Russian gas. It will also have to spend around $40 billion dollars on more expensive alternatives energy sources," the company said in a statement.
Stopping supplies of Russia gas will lead to a situation whereby "every European will have to take a cold shower once a month, CO2 emissions will increase by 300 million tons per year, tax incentives for Norwegian gas production will amount to $12 billion dollars, the power of nuclear energy in Europe will increase 5 percent, and most of the businesses that consume significant amounts of gas will be closed," the company said.
"We considered various scenarios of Europe refusing Russian gas supplies but none of them seem attractive," the company said. "Our conclusion is that 'the cure is worse than the illness' and that Europe's discontent with its dependency on Russian gas will not last long," Bernstein experts think.
It will take five years to implement measures to make up for such a gas shortfall, Bernstein estimated, and more than 10,000 jobs would be eliminated in the process.
US and EU officials held high-level talks in Brussels on April 2 to discuss ways in which Washington can help Europe diversify its energy sources to reduce its dependence on Moscow. Russian energy giant Gazprom supplied about one-third of the natural gas consumed in Europe last year.
Updated with background in last para