BRUSSELS, 31 (EUROPA PRESS)
The heads of state and government of the European Union have agreed on Tuesday to take advantage of the renewable potential of the Iberian Peninsula "to contribute to the security of supply" as part of the strategy to reduce the high dependence on fossil fuels from Moscow.
This is stated in the conclusions of the EU leaders' summit in which the EU-27 have advocated "taking advantage of the potential of the Iberian Peninsula to contribute to the security and supply of the European Union" through its "renewable energy production capacity".
In this framework, the heads of state and government have agreed to improve European gas and electricity interconnection infrastructures by investing in new projects and projects to be completed, "including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen-ready electricity and gas interconnections", including island member states.
In this regard, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has argued that the European Union should finance these interconnections because it has been "Spanish taxpayers" who have financed in recent decades the regasification capacity of the Iberian Peninsula, which could be a turning point to achieve EU energy independence.
"We are glad that it has been recognized that it has to be the European Union who has to pay for these interconnections," stressed Sánchez, who added that Spain will make its regasification and renewable production capacity available to the European Union through these interconnections.
In a similar vein, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Portugal, Antonio Costa, emphasized the "need to conclude a program of interconnections between Portugal, Spain and the whole of Europe" and the role in ensuring the Community's energy supply.
Spain brought to the European summit the need for the EU to take advantage of the Repower EU funds - the new strategy to diversify its energy sources and reduce dependence on Russia - to accelerate the energy interconnections with the Iberian Peninsula and the execution deadlines.
Among the priorities for Spain, according to Moncloa sources, the interest in the electrical interconnection with France is maintained, as well as the Pyrenean hydrogen corridor or its possible alternative through the Mediterranean, in both cases with the support of European funds.
These conclusions of the agreement are included within the pact reached between the Twenty-seven to promote the penetration of renewables in the European energy mix, a commitment for which the leaders have advocated the acceleration of the concession permits for this type of projects, in line with the proposal put forward in the Repower EU plan.
LIMITING THE PRICE OF ENERGY IMPORTS
In addition, the leaders of the EU-27 have urged the European Commission to explore ways to reduce energy prices, such as "introducing temporary limits on import prices". This aspect has been referred to by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who stressed the importance of "exploring the possibility of introducing price limits with international partners".
In addition, the Twenty-Seven have urged to promote the European Energy Purchasing Platform before next winter, whose participation has been opened to countries of the Western Balkans as well as third countries of the East.
In addition, the leaders of the EU-27 have advocated an agreement on joint gas reserves and to accelerate the storage levels for next winter, for which they have defended the solidarity agreements and contingency plans coordinated between European partners.
In this respect, the president of the Community Executive, Ursula von der Leyen, explained at a press conference after the leaders' meeting that gas storage levels in the EU are at 41%, which is 5% more in year-on-year terms. In line with this, he defended the need to improve community interconnections "to ensure gas supply.
In a further step, the leaders of the EU countries have invited the Community Executive to follow the recommendations of the report prepared by the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and to optimize the functioning of the European electricity market, taking the necessary measures to mitigate the effect of high gas prices on it, preserving the integrity of the Community market, the incentives for the green transition and avoiding high budgetary costs.
Energy was one of the key debates at the extraordinary summit to reduce the EU's energy dependence by diversifying alternative sources of supply to Russia in order to cut ties with the Kremlin.
The debate followed the package of measures presented by the European Commission on May 18, Repower EU, which aims to cut Russia's dependence on fossil fuels by 2030 and reduce this dependence by two thirds this year. A goal for which it has proposed accelerating the transition to green energies, promoting energy interconnections in the EU and energy efficiency.