The Commission today unveiled a package of energy security measures to equip the EU for global energy transition to address possible energy supply interruptions. In other words, to reduce dependence from Russia.
The package sets out a wide range of measures to strengthen the EU’s resilience to gas supply disruptions. These measures include moderating energy demand, increasing energy production in Europe (including from renewables), further developing a well-functioning and fully integrated internal energy market, as well as diversification of energy sources, suppliers and routes.
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete declared: “the stress tests of 2014 showed we are still far too vulnerable to major disruption of gas supplies. And the political tensions on our borders are a sharp reminder that this problem is will not just go away. Today’s proposals are about a reliable, competitive and flexible system in which energy flows across borders and consumers reap the benefits. They are about standing together to protect the most vulnerable”.
But, today’s energy security package is also presented in the light of the new global and universal agreement on climate change, adopted by world leaders on 12 December 2015 in Paris. One of the priorities of the Juncker Commission is the creation of a resilient European Energy Union with a forward looking climate change policy.
Vice-President responsible for Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič said that today’s package focuses on the security of our supply, but touches upon all three overarching goals. By reducing our energy demand, and better managing our supply from external sources we are delivering on our promise and enhancing the stability of Europe’s energy market.
Indeed, the Package is seeking sustainable, affordable, efficient and diversified supplies, meaning at least three separate suppliers. To this aim the energy security package aims to move the 28-member bloc towards a single energy union in which power and gas would flow freely across borders. The Package includes a strategy for gas storage and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Europe is the biggest importer of natural gas in the world. Europe’s overall LNG import capacity is significant – currently it is enough to meet around 43% of total current gas demand (2015). However, significant regional disparities as regards access to LNG remain. The Commission sets a liquefied natural gas (LNG) strategy that will improve access of all Member States to LNG as an alternative source of gas.
The central elements of this strategy are building the strategic infrastructure to complete the internal energy market and identifying the necessary projects to end single-source dependency of some of the Member States.