Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a State of the Union address at the start of the European Parliament plenary session. in Strasbourg, eastern France, on Wednesday. Photo by European Union/ EP | License Photo
Sept. 14 (UPI) -- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised to reform the European Union's electricity market by focusing more on renewable energy.
In her State of the Union speech, delivered for the first time with a war occurring in Europe, von der Leyen said that lessening the influence of gas on the price of electricity and harnessing the power of wind and other renewables was the way to go.
"Not just a quick fix, but a change of paradigm, a leap into the future," von der Leyen said.
Europe has been in an energy crisis after Russia indefinitely halted gas flows to Europe through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Von der Leyen said that the EU had to lower its reliance on Russia.
"We have to diversify away from Russia to reliable suppliers like the United States, Norway, Algeria and others, as well as investing more heavily in renewables and LNG terminals," von der Leyen said.
According to CNBC, EU energy ministers met last week to discuss a plan to tax fossil fuel companies, as well as limit revenues of renewable and nuclear companies.
"It is wrong to receive extraordinary record revenues and profits benefiting from war and on the back of our consumers," von der Leyen said. "In these times, profits must be shared and channeled to those who need it most."
Tax on fossil fuel profits would provide 140 billion euros ($139.8 billion) to be split between member states for energy bill support, she added.
Von der Leyen delivered the speech while wearing the Ukrainian flag colors of yellow and blue. She said that it was essential that Ukraine prevail in its war against Russia.
"Much is at stake, not just for Ukraine but for all of Europe and the world at large," she said. "It is about autocracy against democracy and I stand here with the conviction that with the necessary courage and solidarity Putin will fail and Ukraine and Europe will prevail."