Energy EU energy plan unveiled: Gas companies forced to keep adequate gas stocks and member states allowed to tax giants’ huge profits

The European Commission intends to force the law to keep gas stocks at a sufficient level before the next heating season.

8.3. 16:12

European Commission intends to force gas companies to keep their gas stocks at least 90% full by the start of the new heating season in October.

The Commission also intends to be ready to assist Member States by making joint gas purchases and balancing gas stocks between Member States.

In addition, the Commission allows Member States to temporarily tax the windfall profits of energy companies, ie the profits that many companies have made at exceptionally high prices. The Commission and the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimate that this could generate an additional € 200 billion in additional revenue this year for countries that can use it to further alleviate the burden of energy bills on households.

In May a recommendation is coming from the commission urging member states to speed up the authorization of renewable energy projects, such as wind power. The recommendation may include, for example, a suggestion as to when the permit should be processed in the Member State.

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The EU also plans to announce a separate plan in June to significantly increase solar energy production.

Read more: Europe has been “highly dependent” on Russian energy, now the EU is looking for quick solutions to get rid of energy shackles

Advances are included in the proposal received by the Commission from the Commission today, the ultimate aim of which is to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian energy.

In its paper, the Commission estimates that the EU will gain full independence from Russian gas before the end of the decade if it seeks new gas suppliers, accelerates the introduction of renewable energy and reduces energy consumption.

That sounds very ambitious, as the EU currently imports 90% of the natural gas it uses. 40% of it comes from Russia. Russia accounts for 27% of the EU’s crude oil and 46% of its coal.

What the Commission proposal does not say a word is nuclear power. In Germany, for example, the shutdown of nuclear power is already so far away that it will be very difficult to reverse it.

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Commission also presents a plan called the REPowerEU Plan. According to it, gas supply must be diversified and non-Russian gas suppliers must be used, as well as expanding the range to biomethane and hydrogen.

In addition, the EU needs to get rid of fossil fuels faster.

The Commission estimates that the measures to combat climate change introduced last July, the so-called Fit for 55 package, would reduce gas consumption by 23% by 2030, which would mean around 82 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

The Commission estimates that the EU could import between 50 and 60 billion cubic meters of lng per year and 10 billion cubic meters of additional pipeline gas from Norway, Algeria and Azerbaijan, among others.

According to the Commission, the biogas production in the EU mentioned in Fit for 55 could double to 35 billion cubic meters per year. Funding from EU agricultural subsidies is proposed for this.

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To some extent, it is also calculated on the basis of hydrogen produced from renewable sources. Accelerating the production of solar energy could quickly replace 2.5 billion cubic meters of Russian gas. It is also desired to increase the installation of air source heat pumps.

The Commission’s paper states that EU law allows member states to regulate energy prices, income transfers to households and state aid to companies that suffer from high energy prices.

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