The European Union intends to voluntarily reduce gas consumption within the union by 15% from August due to the risks of a complete cessation of gas supplies from Russia. This is stated in the draft plan of the EU called "Gas Saving for a Safe Winter", which Bloomberg reviewed .
The European Commission is due to submit the full version of the document on Wednesday, 20 July. The agency says that as part of measures to help Europe get through the winter without Russian gas, the EC is proposing to reduce the use of heating and cooling systems, and is also planning a series of market-based measures to balance supply and demand. In the event of an aggravation of the situation, the European Commission will have the right to introduce emergency measures, redirecting flows.
According to the publication, the document predicts a fall in the GDP of the European Union by 1.5% in the event of a harsh winter. At the same time, the key task of the plan is to ensure the delivery of fuel to power generating facilities. European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Johannes Hahn admitted on the eve that the EU has actually come to terms with the cessation of gas supplies via Nord Stream and is preparing for the worst. The adoption of the plan will require the consent of all EU members, while not all countries agree to reduce consumption, arguing that they already have national plans in case of a sharp drop in gas exports.
Currently, gas supplies from Russia to the EU have fallen by 30% compared to the average for the past five years. At the same time, the Russian side assures that from July 21, Nord Stream will start operating in accordance with the plan, and the volume of deliveries through it depends on the return of Siemens turbines to Gazprom, which were previously detained by Canada as part of anti-Russian sanctions. Russian President Vladimir Putin alsoannounced his readiness to fulfill all obligations to European suppliers, linking the increase in the capacity of gas supplies via Nord Stream to the return of turbines.
Due to the arrest of German turbines in Canada, Gazprom has reduced supplies through the Nord Stream gas pipeline to 40% of its design capacity. European politicians claim that the decision is political and that Moscow is trying to blackmail the EU in this way, since Gazprom has enough operating turbines to use the pipeline at 100% capacity. Nord Stream remains a key source of Russian gas for Europe. From July 14 to July 21, it was stopped for scheduled repairs, Europe fears that Russia will not resume the operation of the pipeline, which will create additional risks during the heating season.