IEA: “Europe set to face supply disruptions in winter, even with gas storage at 90%”

Dr Fatih Birol has said Europe needs to reduce its current gas consumption further to prepare for a “tough” winter

In event of a complete Russian cut-off, Europe will likely be hit by supply disruptions from October even if countries manage to fill up their gas storage facilities in the coming days.

The worrying prediction comes from an article written by the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol who stresses that European governments must prepare to address gas supply disruptions the likes of which are currently plaguing the continent.

The boss of the Paris-based intergovernmental organisation said the first immediate step that Europe should take towards filling its gas storage to adequate levels before winter is to reduce current gas consumption and put the saved gas into storage.

According to a new IEA analysis, the extra gas that needs to be saved in the next three months is in the order of 12 billion cubic metres – enough to fill about 130 LNG tankers.

Dr Birol has urged policymakers to introduce auction models to incentivise industrial gas users to reduce demand.

He believes that industrial gas consumers can offer part of their contracted gas supply as demand reduction products for compensation, which can lead to efficiency gains, according to the report.

Fatih Birol also suggests countries need to minimise gas use in the power sector – this can be done by temporarily increasing coal and oil-fired generation while accelerating the deployment of renewables.

Governments are also urged to bring down household electricity demand by setting cooling standards and controls – government and public buildings should take the lead on this, the IEA’s boss has said.

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