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    EU ready for first group purchase of natural gas before winter arrives


    May 25, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras

     

      The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, last week proposed a plan for the bloc to move away from Russian fossil fuels by 2027 by accelerating investments in renewables and energy savings and switching to non-Russian fossil fuels.

      In an interview with Reuters, EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson said the bloc intended to start buying gas jointly this year, supported by an EU platform launched last month that would pool countries' demand and coordinate the use of infrastructure to import supplies away from Russia.

      Joint purchasing would be voluntary for the countries. Analysts have said the plan could struggle to achieve significant volumes in a very tight global market or to get it up and running quickly, given the complexity of coordination between companies, governments and Brussels to make the purchases.

      Kadri Simson said that, acting together, EU countries could access supply that would otherwise be unavailable.

      "The volumes of gas available on the world market for this year are limited. And some of it is coming to market only because of political decisions," he said, pointing to a March US-EU agreement for the US to supply an additional 15 billion cubic meters (bcm) of liquefied natural gas to Europe this year.

      The EU imports 155 bcm of gas from Russia each year. Brussels has said countries should primarily use renewables and energy savings to replace those volumes, and expects gas demand to be reduced by 30% by 2030 under EU climate change targets.

      But in the short term, Europe remains dependent on fossil fuels. Last week, the EU passed a law requiring countries to fill gas tanks 80% before winter to help cushion fossil fuel supply shocks.

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