How Europe Faced Up To The Energy Challenge Public Lecture by Dr Joseph Ellis

Il-Ħaġar Museum, Cultural Centre, and Community Space continues the series of Saturday talks programmed for this year which celebrates the tenth anniversary of its inauguration. The third will be held this Saturday, the 18th of February, at 11.00am.

In Every Cloud has a Silver Lining, Dr Joseph Ellis will discuss how Europe has faced up to the energy challenge. When Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, Europe was spending about a billion euro daily in fuel imports from Russia.  Europe’s largest economy, Germany, at the end of 2021 imported 55% of its gas from Russia.  And Germany was obviously not the only European country to rely on cheap Russian energy for its industry and to warm homes and offices.

Over the years Russia built up foreign reserves in anticipation of western sanctions and it must moreover have calculated that Europe’s dependence on its energy exports would blunt the reach of western sanctions against its rogue behaviour.  We now know that this was a colossal miscalculation! Western countries, and especially Europe, could not continue to bankroll Russia’s war machine and have imposed sanctions of unprecedented depth and breadth against Russia.

Several pundits and propagandists anticipated power outages but, after a huge spike, gas prices have gone back down.  Gas reserves are actually higher than a year ago  – and Russian revenues from energy exports have suffered a lot. Dr Ellis will also ask whether these efforts to avoid an energy crisis have been at the expense of commitments to phase out CO2 emissions.

Attendance is free but booking a seat for this talk in English by sending an email to is recommended.