The EU wants to get rid of Russian energy supplies as quickly as possible. The gas storage facilities are an important building block.
In order to secure the energy supply in the EU, gas storage tanks must in future be filled to a minimum before winter. Representatives of the EU states and the European Parliament agreed on a corresponding law.
It stipulates that the gas storage tanks will be 80 percent full by November 1st this year, and 90 percent by the same date in the coming years. The obligation should expire at the end of 2025, as the Council of the EU states announced.
The EU Commission proposed the law in March to secure the gas supply in view of the war in Ukraine and to curb price fluctuations. The EU has resolved to get rid of Russian energy supplies as quickly as possible. A new gas storage law has been in force in Germany since April 30, according to which storage facilities must be 90 percent full by November 1 of this year.
Levels are checked
The new EU law stipulates that the gas storage levels will be checked by the federal states and the Commission throughout the year. Countries can use financial incentives, among other things, to induce gas suppliers to store gas despite high prices.
In addition, the operators will have to receive a license in the future, which can be revoked if they endanger the energy supply, for example due to low levels. If operators have their license revoked, they have to sell shares or can be expropriated.
The EU institutions also agreed to include stocks of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the storage quantities. In addition, the obligations for states that have particularly large storage facilities that they do not use completely themselves should be adjusted. EU countries that do not have gas storage facilities should have access to reserves in other countries and bear the costs.
There should be exceptions to the mandatory reserves for Cyprus, Malta and Ireland as long as they are not linked to the gas networks of other EU countries.
The decision on the law still has to be confirmed by the Council of the EU States and the European Parliament, but this is considered a formality.