According to the quoted source, in order to be able to better withstand the drastic decrease in Russian gas supplies, and possibly even their complete shutdown, Brussels will submit to the approval of the Member States a series of measures that will reduce European gas consumption by 25 to 60 billion cubic meters.
“By taking action now, we could reduce the impact of a sudden halt in deliveries by a third,” the European Commission document said, which may change before it is scheduled for adoption on July 20, Agerpres reports.
According to Community Executive estimates, 11 billion cubic meters of natural gas could be saved by reducing the heating or operation of air conditioning systems in public buildings, to which could be added between 4 and 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas. which could be saved as a result of reduced gas use in electricity production, as well as between 10 and 11 billion cubic meters on the demand side in the industrial sector, where gas demand is already declining amid the price explosion.
The Commission’s plan calls on Member States to adopt mandatory restrictions on heating or air conditioning in public buildings.
In parallel, “significant savings can be achieved by introducing alternative heat sources for district heating, heat pumps for individuals,” says the European Commission.
Brussels also wants to launch communication campaigns to get households down the thermostat by one degree in winter.
The European Commission has concluded that “protected customers” (which according to EU law are households, social services, SMEs) account for less than 37% of total EU consumption and “simulations show that they would not be widely affected”. ”Gas shortages.
Consequently, the Commission has decided to target power plants and industry, the major consumers of gas.
A brutal power outage “could paralyze low-margin industries to abruptly reduce production or switch to other fuels because they use natural gas as a raw material, especially in the chemical sector,” warns the EU executive. .
“But it would be much less expensive to reduce demand moderately over a longer period of time, starting earlier,” the Commission added.
To encourage this trend, Brussels is proposing to Member States to set up tendering systems, possibly covering several countries, which would compensate companies for reducing their consumption.
All these Commission proposals will be at the heart of the debate at the meeting of European Energy Ministers, which will take place on 26 July in Brussels.
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