EU prepares gas emergency plan – media
The EU will urge member countries to scale back their demand for gas in order to prepare for potential Russian supply cuts, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing a draft of the proposal.
The European Commission plan, due to be published on July 20, will suggest that countries launch financial incentives for industries to cut gas use, exhaust fuel switching in industry and power plants, and roll out information campaigns to nudge consumers to use less heating and cooling.
Measures targeting industry could reportedly include auctions or tenders to incentivize large consumers to use less gas in return for compensation.
“Early joint action at EU level at this critical moment of the storage filling process will reduce the need for possible and more painful demand reduction later in the winter, in case of interruption of flows from Russia,” according to the draft cited by Reuters.
On Monday, Russian energy major Gazprom suspended the flow of natural gas to the EU via the key Nord Stream 1 pipeline due to planned maintenance work. The shutdown will last until July 21. During that time, all gas flows via the pipeline will stop. The operator said the repairs were scheduled and agreed to with all partners.
This has raised concerns in Europe that the suspension of deliveries could be extended beyond the 10-day timeline, derailing the region’s winter supply preparations and exacerbating the gas crisis.
The EU, which receives roughly 40% of its gas from Russia, has been trying to rapidly reduce its reliance on Russian energy as part of its sanctions on Moscow.
The region aims to refill its strategic gas reserves more quickly before winter to ensure energy supplies are secure. It has set a mandatory minimum level of gas in storage facilities at 80% by November.
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