The Extraordinary Council on Transport, Telecommunications and Energy on July 26, 2022 defines the European position in the face of the current energy crisis. Its objective is to ensure energy supply within the EU framework through a set of measures.

Main Results

  • Voluntarily reduce the demand for natural gas. This reduction will be 15% and will take place this winter. In this way, Europe is preparing for a probable suspension of the supply of Russian gas.
  • Encourage protected customers to lower their energy demand before the arrival of winter.
  • The “Save Gas for a Safe Winter” package includes measures to get Member States to share their gas resources.
  • Greece proposed delinking the costs of electricity and natural gas, so that the electricity bill does not skyrocket.

Energy Prices and Security of Supply

What’s Happening to Energy Markets?

Energy prices in Europe are increasing since the second half of 2021 due to several factors:

  • The price of gas on world markets has seen an unprecedented increase.
  • Increased demand for liquefied gas.
  • Asia has increased its gas consumption.
  • Rising geopolitical tensions.
  • The cold and heat experienced in 2021 have been particularly intense.

How does the EU deal with this problem?

The countries of the European Union have adopted various agreements to deal with the current situation. Among them we can highlight:

  • State aid to the business sector.
  • Tax rebates.
  • Decarbonize gas markets.
  • Promote hydrogen.
  • Reduce methane emissions.
  • Ban almost 90% of Russian oil imports by the end of 2022.
  • Regulate gas storage.

Impact of the Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine on the Markets: EU Response

  1. Has been one of the factors that has most influenced the increase in energy prices in the EU.
  2. It puts at risk the continuity of energy supply in Europe.
  3. It promotes the energy emancipation of the EU with respect to Russian oil.
  4. It has been decisive in approving the new Regulation on gas storage.
  5. Globally, it negatively impacts food security and food affordability.
  6. Fuel supply problems and the increase in its price harm the free mobility of people and goods in the EU.

EU Response To Ukraine Invasion

  1. Strong and formal condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which it qualifies as “unprovoked and unjustified military aggression.”
  2. Adoption of 6 packages of sanctions aimed at economically weakening Russia to reduce its war capacity.
  3. Support to Ukraine by receiving refugees, humanitarian aid and promoting the export of its agricultural products, among other measures.
  4. Provide energy protection to Ukraine and limit the impact caused by rising prices.
  5.  Establish Ukraine-Europe solidarity lanes and strengthen transport resilience.

Conclusions

  • Package ‘Fit for 55’. It reviews the Directives on energy efficiency and renewable energies.
  • Decarbonization. Optimizing the energy efficiency of buildings is the key to reducing consumption and curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Regulation on gas storage. It guarantees its supply and that it can be shared between the Member States. The goal is for Europe’s gas reservoirs to be filled before next winter.

The REPowerEU plan and the EU Energy Platform study the preparation and evolution of Europe in the face of the current energy crisis.

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