Gas storage tanks must be filled to a minimum amount before winter in order to secure the energy supply in the EU. A corresponding law was proposed by representatives of the EU states and the European Parliament.
This year, the gas storage tanks will be filled to 80 percent by November 1st, and to 90 percent by the same date in the next few years. As the Council of the EU states announced, the obligation is to expire at the end of 2025.
In March, the EU Commission proposed legislation to secure gas supplies in the face of the war in Ukraine and curb price swings. The EU wants to get rid of Russian energy supplies as quickly as possible. A new gas storage law has been in force in Germany since April 30, according to which storage facilities must be 90 percent full by November 1 of this year.
According to the new EU law, the filling levels of the gas storage tanks are checked by the federal states and the Commission throughout the year. Despite high prices, countries can give gas suppliers financial incentives to store gas, among other things.
If the operators endanger the energy supply by low levels, they will have to obtain a license in the future, which can be revoked. They must sell shares or may be expropriated if operators lose their license.
When it comes to storage volumes, the EU institutions have agreed that stocks of liquefied natural gas (LNG) should also be counted. The obligations for states that have large storage facilities and do not use them fully themselves should be adjusted. EU countries should share the costs of maintaining reserves in other countries that do not have gas storage facilities.
As long as they are not linked to the gas networks of the other EU countries, there will be exemptions from the mandatory reserves for Cyprus, Malta and Ireland.
The law is considered a formal decision, but it has to be approved by the Council of States and the European Parliament.