MEPs urge efficient use of EU gas storage capacity

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are calling on the EU Commission to reduce the region’s dependence on gas in the long term by using it more efficiently. They highlight […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are calling on the EU Commission to reduce the region’s dependence on gas in the long term by using it more efficiently.

They highlight the “vital role” of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and gas storage in addition to increased efficiencies and renewable energy deployment in reducing dependence on Russian gas in a resolution voted this week.

The MEPs believe the utilisation rate of existing storage infrastructure could be “significantly improved” through regional co-operation and adequate gas connections as well as by removing “internal bottlenecks”.

They add the EU strategy for LNG “must make energy supplies more secure, cut carbon emissions and deliver affordable prices” and urge for a gradual phase out of fossil fuel subsidies.

Their report states doubling the capacity of the Nord Stream pipeline could have counterproductive effects on energy security, the diversification of supply sources and solidarity among member states.

The project is run by a consortium led by Russian energy firm Gazprom.

The MEPs add before deciding to build new LNG infrastructure, LNG supply alternatives should be carefully analysed from a regional and environmental sustainability perspective to avoid stranding assets, improve energy security and ensure the most efficient use of existing infrastructure.

Rapporteur Ándras Gyürk (EPP, HU) said: “There are three great issues we dealt with in this report. First, we need supply diversification, to show solidarity with countries which are almost 100% dependent on a single supplier.

“Next, completing the missing gas infrastructure is essential for maximising the use of the existing LNG terminals and gas storage facilities and last but not least, without the much needed-harmonisation of rules, procedures and tariff structures, the European infrastructure will only be an empty vessel, unable to serve its purpose.”

Fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear will all be part of the discussions at the Energy Live 2016 conference in London next week. There are limited free tickets for energy end users and university students.