A year after the start of the war, the EU is still working to increase energy sustainability. At the gates of the electricity market reform process, when the European Commission formally presents its proposal next week, the 27 are preparing for the coming winter after learning the lesson of dependence on Russia. There is some satisfaction with how things are going at the moment, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson told the European Parliament, noting a 19% drop in gas demand between August and January, matching the period. in which the requirement to reduce consumption by 15% is valid. Simpson has announced that it will consider extending that plan, which expires on March 31, into next year.
Last summer, in the midst of the energy crisis, the European Commission proposed a mandatory 15% cut in gas consumption for all member states. Some, such as Spain, Ireland, Malta, Greece and Italy, objected and claimed the specifics of each country – Russia’s different attitudes, interrelationships, islands, landlocked…–. Finally, Spain achieved a 50% reduction, although the final reduction was 15%. According to the data released by the government in December.
“It worked well and it is the best guarantee to achieve a good level of storage in the states,” said the commissioner. Gas storage was one of the main problems of the energy crisis. “In November there was 95% retention, now it’s 57%; But this is twice as much as last year,” he added. In addition, he noted the fact that gas consumption has been completely reduced by saving 42,000 million cubic meters.
“We’re going to win the energy war,” Simson said. For the EU, winning the energy war means ending dependence on Russia. Although there was a significant drop, there was no complete disconnection. In fact, despite the sanctions, imports to this country remain at 10.3 billion euros.
Nevertheless, Simson agrees to “reduce dependence on Russia by two-thirds.” “As of September 2022, Russian gas will account for approximately 8% of all imported pipeline gas to the EU. Last year they amounted to 61 billion cubic meters [billones de metros cúbicos]. The first supplier of gas to Europe is no longer Russia, it is Norway,” he told the commissioner.
What he requested is that the existing contracts with Russia not be renewed: “This is the best way to give our reliable partners a long-term guarantee that significant demand will be maintained.”
“We did everything without destroying the Green Pact. Last year, emissions were reduced by 2.5%,” said the commissioner, who assured that 39% of energy consumed in Europe last year came from renewable sources.
Source: El Diario