Europe’s gas-saving plan: these are the keys to the new ‘Iberian exception’

European Commission last week obligation to reduce consumption gas by 15% from next August 1 linear for all countries Spain refused – the famous word of Teresa Ribera, Vice President and Minister for Ecological Transition, warning Germany that “Spain does not live above its energy possibilities” – and a week later that obligation was diluted. “Successful!”, he wrote Ministry of Ecological Transition on his Twitter account. “Every member state will contribute. according to your possibilities and needs“, Add. Spain, given its unique characteristics almost as an ‘energy island’, once again gets a new ‘exception’.

1. What are the exceptions allowed by Brussels?

Between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023, Europe proposes a 15% cut in gas demand, which will become mandatory if a state of emergency is declared on the continent. But There will be exceptions for many countries. In particular, the European Commission recommends: six cases: for states that have synchronized electrical system RussiaAs Baltic countries; other special for the islands as they are not directly connected to the mainland Ireland, Malta and Cyprus; for a third party Countries reaching gas storage fill levels above 80% during this year and in this case the applicable quarter critical industries that need gas for their production

Fifth, members limited intermediate links It can also be to reduce if they can show that they have “forced discounts” export capabilities When using interconnection or national LNG infrastructure to maximum forward gas to other member states, a final option can be implemented by these countries. Countries where gas consumption increased by at least 8% in the last one year compared to the average of the last five years.

2. Which affects Spain?

Spain plans to take advantage of the last two exceptions, as indicated by the vice president at the end of the meeting. On the one hand, and mainly to those who imply countries using their own power. gas infrastructure and maximize in favor of other partners via gas pipeline or methane tankers shipped, or via storage (to have this gas available when needed). On the other hand, it can also benefit from the exemption due to the increase in gas demand as it must be used to generate electricity. with all The government has agreed with Brussels to voluntarily reduce its consumption by between 7% and 8%.as reported by the vice president himself Theresa Rivera After the meeting in Brussels

3. How does this 7% voluntary reduction in consumption affect?

This reduction rate between 7% and 8% in consumption, not having to implement any containment measures or mandatory apportionment of activities It could also be covered by the Administration’s savings and efficiency plans, those designed by both the General State Administration (AGE) and the autonomous communities and municipalities that Ribera convened this week. through saving and efficiency measures in homes and workplaces and the “resilience” of the industry, According to Rivera. For this, a vice-president new meeting tour comply with the best practice measures with political parties, the energy sector, consumers and industry, and design the national emergency plan.

When it comes to industry, offers Much of the industry is going through with more renewable gas assets or more gas use, as well as disrupting gas volumes with no penalties or joint purchase formulas. cogenerations (this may be more efficient than the phased electrification of the system, given that electricity generation must be produced with gas).

4. Why did Spain and Portugal oppose the previous Brussels plan?

Reason anger based on both countries two important arguments. On the one hand, he didn’t like it. imposition and lack of dialogue. Sources from the Ministry of Ecological Transition said that a week before the plan was announced by Brussels, the Spanish Government’s did not know that the cut in consumption would be binding and the mandatory discount amount. On the other hand, they consider it necessary. highlight differences between countries because Portugal does not have a way to get the energy out of the country, if there is no way to take it to the countries of Central and Northern Europe, and save energy, as in the case of Spain, which complains about its low penetration. Gas in Spanish homes and high levels of electricity generation in recent months – very difficult to reduce in the absence of technologies other than renewables, unless the As Pontes (A Coruña) coal-fired power plant is reactivated – will punish the industry and it would not help other countries. “We are in solidarity, but we cannot be asked to make a disproportionate effort,” Teresa Ribera said after announcing her opposition to the European plan a week ago.

5. If there is a gas cut in Russia, isn’t there a supply risk in Spain?

The government and the energy sector have been huge for months. diversification of gas suppliers (Russian gas barely represents 10% of the total) and one third of regasification capacity The fact that Europe (with six regasification plants in the country) allows the arrival of liquefied natural gas (LNG) via methane tankers means that Spain is not at great risk of a disruption in supply from Russia. And so the vice-president repeated this Tuesday in Brussels: “Spain’s it is very difficult to have any supply problems. On the contrary, we believe that he is insured.”

Source: Informacion

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