The ongoing conflict in Ukraine and Russian aggression have brought into question the EU’s energy security. This has led to thoughts over what measures might need to be taken to ensure the EU’s gas supply in the coming years, given the energy dependency on Russia.
The Commission and its Gas Coordination Group carried out a dedicated risk analysis, which found that additional measures are needed to enhance the EU’s energy security. In a draft regulation, seen by Speaking of Europe, the Commission establishes a mandatory filling target for gas storage facilities in order to secure gas supply in the coming heating period, starting in October this year. In addition, the filling target will allow the EU to respond swiftly to increased demands or disrupted supply, thereby increasing the bloc’s energy security.
Three key measures
‘Storage filing obligation’: In order to increase energy security, the EU wants to determine a ‘mandatory minimum level of gas in storage facilities’ in the coming winter periods.
‘Storage certification’: Measure one goes hand in hand with a certification for storage facility operators to make sure that they do not put supply at risk.
‘Tariff rebate’: There will be no capacity-based transmission tariffs at entry and exit points of the storage facilities as an incentive to make use of storage facilities.
How is this going to look in practice?
The Commission’s proposal foresees that The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. Member States should be responsible for ensuring that their storage facilities are filled up to a minimum of 90% by 1 November each year. To support them in this process, additional intermediary targets will be set in April, June, August, September and February (the latter being implemented from the filing period 2023 on). The target can be specified or amended by the Commission through a delegated act before the end of the year preceding the storage period.
The draft regulation also details the measures The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. Member States should use to fulfill the filling targets. These include encouraging them to oblige gas suppliers to store a certain minimum of gas, as well as involving storage owners and transmission system operators in the process of increasing the amount of stored gas.
The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. Member States shall develop burden-sharing mechanisms between those with and those without storage facilities, since they will all profit from the energy security ensured by this storage regulation.
The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. Member States’ authorities will certify storage system operators, to ensure that they do not put gas supply at risk, according to a procedure detailed in the regulation.
The relevant The 27 countries that are part of the EU. See the list of all members here. Member States’ authorities, the Commission, and its Gas Coordination Group will be mandated to monitor the fulfillment of the filling targets.
This new regulation amends Regulation (EU) 2017/1938 on security of gas supply and Regulation (EU) 7115/2009 on conditions for access to natural gas transmission networks and was drafted speedily. Action will need to be taken from April 2022 on, marking the start of the filling season of gas storage facilities, to ensure sufficient gas supply for the heating period starting in October this year.