Plans to refill Europe’s gas reserves more quickly to ensure supply during the cold season are discussed by MEPs on Thursday, in the wake of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The new regulation, already agreed upon with EU ministers, sets a mandatory minimum level of gas in storage facilities of 80% by 1 November 2022, but member states and operators should strive to reach 85%.
The target will rise to 90% in subsequent years, to protect Europeans from possible supply shocks. The text urges EU countries to diversify gas supply sources and boost energy efficiency. Under the rules, gas storage facilities will become critical infrastructure. All storage operators will have to undergo new mandatory certification to avoid risks of outside interference and those who fail to secure it will have to give up ownership or control of their EU gas storage facilities. The legislative proposal was tabled by the Commission on 23 March, in the wake of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Parliament decided on 5 April to fast-track it and two days later backed it and set its negotiating position. The energy union strategy aims at building an energy union that gives EU consumers - households and businesses - secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy.