Brussels wants member states to reduce heating and support industries that are ready to reduce gas consumption due to the current energy crisis and fears that Russia could further cut supply, Publicnewstime reports information obtained by the Financial Times.
EU countries should give households and companies financial incentives to reduce gas demand and consumption before winter. At least that's what it says in the draft of the 'gas demand reduction plan' prepared by the European Commission, which was seen by the Financial Times.
The Commission proposes that member states should limit heating in public buildings to 19 degrees. In the draft text, the Commission pointed out that these measures could reduce the effect of a 'sudden interruption of supply by one third'.
Until this year, Russia delivered about 40 percent of gas to the EU. But since mid-June, according to the Commission's document, the flow through Nord Stream 1, the largest gas pipeline from Russia to the EU, has been reduced by 60 percent. Total flows from Russia are now less than 30 percent of the average between 2016 and 2021, the draft document said.
Germany has already started implementing measures to reduce demand, including limiting the time for hot water use in certain urban areas.
The draft Commission document also suggests that certain industries could relocate operations from areas where demand is worst to regions with better energy supplies, and that member states should ensure that key industries are prioritized.
“The Netherlands has a large industrial sector and we are concerned about the possible closure of large gas-using factories if Russia does indeed turn off the gas switch. But the Netherlands has recently taken a number of important measures. For example, coal-fired power plants can temporarily produce more energy," noted Cees Oudshoorn, director general of VNO-NCW, the confederation of Dutch industry and companies,
Final plans are expected to be announced next week ahead of an emergency meeting of energy ministers. The commission declined to comment.
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