Members should be ready to cut energy usage by 30% if Russian supplies stop, the IEA says
The European Union will need to cut as much as 30% of its gas use by mid-February if flows from Russia are halted, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) chief executive, Fatih Birol told Bloomberg on Tuesday.
“Depending on its timing, a complete cut-off of Russian gas supplies to Europe could result in storage fill levels being well below average ahead of the winter, leaving the EU in a very vulnerable position,” Birol stated in emailed comments to Bloomberg. “In the current context, I wouldn’t exclude a complete cut-off of gas exports to Europe (sic) from Russia.”
The bloc’s storage filling is on pace to reach 90% capacity by November 1. However, that could fall to 75% if Russian gas exports stop completely, Bloomberg calculates.
The IEA chief noted that lowering consumption should first start with industry usage and households to reach storage goals.
Europe’s largest economy, Germany, has been struggling with a shortfall in Russian gas supplies after deliveries via the Nord Stream pipeline were cut by 60% earlier this month. In response, the government has launched the “alarm” phase of its gas emergency plan, signaling that businesses and households need to cut down on consumption.
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