EU Commission set to unveil gas-reduction plan

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The European Fee will current on Wednesday (20 July) a brand new plan to cut back fuel consumption by business and customers in a bid to arrange for “a probable deterioration” — or a full cut-off of Russian fuel flows this winter.

Fuel flows from Russia to the Baltic international locations, Poland, Bulgaria, and Finland have utterly stopped, whereas provide to Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy has been lately lowered — prompting the EU govt to argue that “there is no such thing as a purpose to consider this sample will change”.

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A full halt of Russian fuel provides may materialise later this 12 months in “an abrupt and unilateral approach,” based on the leaked draft seen by EUobserver.

However the provide discount has already led to record-high and unstable vitality costs, fuelling inflation and making a danger of additional financial downturn in Europe, reads the doc. General flows from Russia at the moment are lower than 30 p.c of the common of 2016-2021.

The plan highlights that “giant financial savings” might be achieved by deploying campaigns focusing on households to lower the thermostat by one diploma and wherever possible, cut back the heating of public buildings, places of work, and business buildings to 19 levels Celsius.

Buildings within the EU are accountable for 40 p.c of the bloc’s vitality consumption however public authorities can lead by instance as an necessary fuel client.

The fee may also name on EU member states to think about using different fuels for electrical energy technology, corresponding to coal and nuclear energy.

Nevertheless it acknowledges that these “non permanent” measures may have an effect on air air pollution, and, subsequently, be designed in a approach that doesn’t compromise the bloc’s medium-term decarbonisation aims and transition within the coal areas.

Below its ‘Save Fuel for a Secure Winter’ plan, the fee will counsel to EU member states a voluntary 15-percent minimize in pure fuel use beginning already subsequent month, Bloomberg reported.

In Might, the EU pledged to cut back its imports of Russian fuel by two-thirds this 12 months and section out its vitality commerce with Moscow by 2027, on the earliest. Efforts to cut back the EU’s addition to Russian fuel embody having a typical buy of fuel, diversification of fuel provides and securing sufficient fuel storage ranges.

However consultants beforehand warned {that a} full cut-off of fuel imports from Russia may solely be met by lowering EU fuel demand.

Earlier this month, the Brussels-based suppose tank Breugel calculated {that a} complete demand discount over the following 10 months of about 15 p.c in comparison with common demand in 2019-2021 could be wanted to compensate for a whole stopping of Russian pipeline imports.

The brand new “demand discount plan” comes amid issues over fuel circulate disruptions through the Nord Stream 1 — a pipeline connecting Russia with Germany which accounts for greater than a 3rd of Russian pure fuel exports to the bloc.

Russian vitality big Gazprom has lowered pure fuel shipments to 40 p.c capability final month, citing upkeep issues. However fuel flows are anticipated to be restarted on Thursday (21 July), based on Reuters.

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