Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the EU has cut “dramatically” and in record time the imports of pipe gas from Russia, which now only represent 8% of the total. At the same time, Moscow has increased its exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe by up to 20% (reaching 20 billion cubic meters in the last year), which partly offsets Brussels’ efforts to disengage from the russian energy.
A good part of Russian LNG travels to Spain, which in the last year has increased purchases from Moscow by more than 80%, exceeding 61,300 gigawatt hours (GWh), compared to 33,305 GWh the previous year. Russian gas now represents 14% of Spanish consumption, only surpassed by the United States (27.1%) and Algeria (23.8%), according to data from Enagás. Spain is the third country in the world that buys more LNG from Russia, behind Japan and Belgium, according to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
This contradiction generates a growing discomfort in the Commission of Ursula von der Leyen. Your Energy Commissioner, kadri simsonhas asked this Thursday governments and companies to take measures to get rid of this new form of dependency as soon as possible energy with respect to the Kremlin.
[España ha sido el mayor importador de gas natural licuado (GNL) ruso en los meses de julio y agosto]
“I believe that we can and must get rid of Russian gas completely as soon as possible, always keeping in mind our security of supply. I encourage all Member States and all companies to stop buying Russian LNG and do not sign new contracts with Russia once existing contracts have expired“, Simson said in an appearance before the Industry Committee of the Eurochamber.
“Engaged to do not renew existing contracts with Russia is the best way to offer long-term guarantees to our reliable partners (in reference to the United States or Norway) that significant demand will be maintained,” argues the energy commissioner.
At a time when European governments are already preparing to fill the tanks for the coming winter of 2023-2024, the Energy Commissioner has announced that she will propose extend until next year the 15% cut in gas consumption, which in principle expires at the end of this month of March. Demand fell by more than 19% between August and January 2023, which has allowed the EU to save 42 billion cubic meters of gas.
“It is also possible that we still have a difficult summer ahead of us., not only winter, with high temperatures and droughts that influence the production and consumption of electricity. We are still in uncharted waters and need to step up our preparation,” Simson said.
In his opinion, the 15% cut in consumption “has worked well” and “is the best guarantee to achieve an adequate level of storage for November.”
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