STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT VON DER LEYEN ON ENERGY

We are facing an extraordinary situation, because Russia is an unreliable supplier and is manipulating our energy markets.

Our unity and our solidarity will ensure that we will prevail!

We have increased our preparedness and weakened Russia’s grip on our energy supply through demand reduction – which allowed our common storages to be at 82%.

Through diversification we have increased deliveries of LNG or pipeline gas from the US, Norway, Algeria, Azerbaijan, and others. For example Norway is now delivering more gas to the EU than Russia. And we are making massive investments in home-grown renewables through RePowerEU.

But we also see that the manipulation of the gas markets has a spillover effect on the electricity market.

We are confronted with astronomic electricity prices for households and companies and with enormous market volatility.

Therefore, we will put forward a set of immediate measures that will protect vulnerable consumers and businesses and help them adapt.

First, Smart Savings of Electricity. What has changed is global energy supply is scarce. This calls for smart reduction in demand. We need a strategy to flatten the peaks which drives the price of electricity.

We will propose a mandatory target for reducing electricity use at peak hours. And we will work closely with the Member States to achieve this.

Second, we will propose a cap on revenues of companies producing electricity with low costs.

Low carbon energy sources are making unexpected revenues, which do not reflect their production costs.

It is now time for consumers to benefit from the low costs of low carbon energy sources, like renewables.

So we will propose to re-channel these unexpected profits to support vulnerable people and companies to adapt.

Third, the same has to go for unexpected profits of fossil fuel companies.

Oil and gas companies have also made massive profits. We will therefore propose a solidarity contribution for fossil fuel companies.

Because all energy sources must help address this crisis.

And Member States should invest these revenues to support vulnerable households and invest in clean home-grown energy sources.

Fourth, energy utility companies must be supported to cope with the volatility of the markets.

They are currently being requested to provide unexpectedly large amounts of funds, which threatens their capacity to trade and the stability of the future markets.

Thus we will help to facilitate Liquidity Support by Member States for energy companies.

We will update our temporary framework to enable state guarantees to be delivered rapidly.

And fifth, we will propose a cap on Russian gas.

The objective here is very clear. We must cut Russia’s revenues

which Putin uses to finance this atrocious war against Ukraine.

And now our work is paying off!

At the beginning of the war, Russia’s pipeline gas was 40% of all imported gas. Today it is now down to only 9% of our gas imports.

These are tough times. But I am convinced that Europeans have the economic strength, the political will, and unity to keep the upper hand.

Source: Cyprus News Agency