19th February 2016

EC proposes sustainable energy security package

Implementing the Energy Union Strategy, adopted a year ago, the EC formally proposed on 16 February the first specific legislative acts. This first package is aimed at ensuring energy security, namely security of supply. It consists of 4 legislative proposals. Firstly, the Security of Gas Supply Regulation introduces a regional approach to security of supply, tries to improve transparency of the gas market and improves solidarity by, inter alia, prioritizing sensitive consumers (medical centers, households) in a neighboring Member State to non-sensitive consumers inside the given Member State. Secondly, the decision on Intergovernmental Agreements in energy introduces ex-ante checks by the EC of future energy deals with non-EU countries. Today, Member States have to notify such agreements to the EC after their conclusion. The ex-ante approach would strengthen EC´s oversight and would better ensure that EU legislation is respected also in dealings with third countries. This point is rather controversial. Thirdly, the EC proposes an LNG and gas storage strategy. LNG is a way for countries with infrastructure links to a single supplier to strengthen their energy security and the EU´s LNG import capacity is sufficient (it could cover 43% of EU demand for gas). However, LNG infrastructure is unevenly distributed. The EC´s strategy aims at developing LNG infrastructure, especially in single-supplier Member States. Finally, the Heating and Cooling strategy addresses the demand side of energy security. Almost half of EU´s energy consumption is used for heating and cooling buildings. By removing barriers for further decarbonization, increasing energy efficiency and increased use of renewables in the sector, the EC aims at improving its demand position vis-a-vis energy suppliers.

Since the proposed legislation addresses possible future energy supply disruptions, such as those in 2006 and 2009, the EC called on the co-legislators (European Parliament and the Council) to treat the proposals as a matter of priority and to adopt them as soon as possible.

For more, click here and here.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic