Meps Call for Better Gas Storage in the EU
The European Union should make better use of current capacities, and offer more support for less connected regions, members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) said, warning that doubling the capacity of a Russian-backed pipeline could hurt EU energy security.
“Before supporting new regasification terminals, we need to promote the most efficient use of existing LNG terminals with a cross border perspective,” said the MEPs in the committee on energy when voting on the draft non-legislative resolution dealing with liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas storage in the EU, according to a ITRE press release on September 26.
MEPs also stressed that “regional cooperation and an adequate level of gas interconnections and the removal of internal bottlenecks could significantly improve the utilisation rate of existing gas storages”, and expressed “concern at the proposed doubling of capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline”.
MEPs noted the current “excess capacities in European gas storage”, and called for more efficiency in their use in order “to avoid technology lock-in or stranded assets in fossil fuel infrastructure and to ensure that consumers do not have to bear the costs of any new projects”. They suggested that harmonised tariff structures across the EU and increased transparency in tariff definition could lead to a higher utilisation rate of existing gas storages.
However, it is important to find “cost efficient and environmentally sustainable energy supply options to increase long term supply security for the Iberian Peninsula, Central and South East Europe, the Baltic states and Ireland, which are not well connected and/or integrated to the internal energy market,” MEPs said, highlighting also “the need to support the most vulnerable countries that continue to remain energy islands, such as Cyprus and Malta, in order to diversify their sources and routes of supply”.
The doubling of capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline could have counterproductive effects on energy security and diversification of supply sources and the principle of solidarity among Member States, said MEPs, stating that “if, contrary to European interests, Nord Stream 2 were to be built, it would necessarily require a sound assessment of LNG terminals accessibility and a detailed state of play on the North-South Gas Corridor”.
The draft non-legislative resolution is scheduled for plenary vote during October II plenary session. Parliament’s recommendations will feed into upcoming legislative proposals from the European Commission related to the Energy Union, the ITRE press release said.