The EU Council has adopted a target to reduce gas consumption by 15% by spring

The EU Council has formally adopted a target to reduce gas consumption by 15% by spring. With the exception of Poland and Hungary, 25 member states voted in favor of the regulation, which was approved and enters into force today.

In order to increase the level of European storage and promote the security of the EU’s energy supply this winter, a voluntary reduction in natural gas consumption is planned. This increase will be in the order of 15% between August 1 and March 31, 2023. This target may differ between countries, as exemptions and derogations have been introduced to take into account the particular situations of member states.

The proposal was initially opposed by countries such as Portugal and Spain and exceptions were subsequently made to the document. Exceptions, taking into account specificities such as a high dependence on electricity production from gas. There is a lack of synchronization with the European electricity grid and a lack of direct gas interconnection.

In this way, Portugal “is one of the countries that, due to poor interconnections, could see its target reduced by eight percentage points compared to the target initially set, if a gas reduction obligation is created,” said the Minister for the Environment, Duarte Cordeiro.

The aim is to reduce the amount of gas consumed in the EU by 30 billion cubic meters this winter.

August 12th, 2022