Vladimir Putin says that Gazprom will not impose fines on Ukraine for the unpurchased gas it had been contracted to buy, as such a move would ‘deal the final blow’ on Ukraine’s economy. A scientist at a climate change conference in Copenhagen has suggested that all of Europe’s energy needs could be supplied by a series of solar panels in the Sahara. Russian power consumption has declined to 2006 levels, and the effects of the downturn are putting Russia’s electricity generators at risk of operating at a loss, according to industry regulator Market Council. Poland has agreed to renegotiate the terms of a 1993 agreement governing gas transit with Russia. Central Asian gas producers Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan will proceed with the construction of a new, Russian-backed, Caspian Sea gas pipeline that will rival Europe-backed Nabucco.