Spain Opts Out of EU’s Plan To Cut Gas Use by 15%
Spanish energy minister, Teresa Ribera, has said that her country does not support the EU’s proposal for its member states to reduce gas consumption by 15%.
On Wednesday, the European Commission published measures for the EU to conserve gas in the face of risks of further reduction or a shutoff of Russian gas deliveries, asking member states to reduce gas consumption by 15% until the spring.
The Commission proposed a new legislative tool and a European Gas Demand Reduction Plan, setting a target for all member states to reduce gas consumption by 15% between August 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023.
The new regulation would also give the Commission the possibility to declare, after consulting Member States, a ‘Union Alert’ on the security of supply, imposing a mandatory gas demand reduction on all Member States, the EC said.
A Union Alert “can be triggered when there is a substantial risk of a severe gas shortage or an exceptionally high gas demand,” according to the Commission’s plans.
Commenting on the European Commission’s plans for saving gas, Spain’s Ribera told Reuters: “I deeply regret to say that Spain does not support this proposal.”
“We consider that it is proposed without prior orientation, without a general debate in the European Council, even when the economic consequences are particularly important….They cannot demand a sacrifice of which they have not even asked our prior opinion,” the minister added.
Meanwhile, Europe is on edge to see whether Gazprom will restart flows via Nord Stream, as maintenance on the pipeline carrying gas from Russia to Germany ends on July 21.