Marcel Salikhov, President of the Institute for Energy and Finance, gave a commentary to Kommersant FM on the situation on the European gas market.
The Head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the turbine for Nord Stream would return on time, although she did not name the exact dates. Therefore, according to her, nothing prevents Russia from supplying gas to Europe. In parallel, the European Commission called for a cut in fuel use by at least 15% from August to March next year. EU countries must submit individual plans to reduce consumption by the end of September. Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Brussels also wants to secure the right to oblige them to reduce gas use.
How effective will such measures be? And can the European Union force its members to save fuel?
Marcel Salikhov, President of the Institute for Energy and Finance doubts this. In his opinion, Brussels does not have such leverage on the EU countries:
“The official goal of the European Union is to completely phase out Russian gas by 2027. The EC is developing various plans to reduce demand. The problem is that the European market is a collection of individual national markets. The European Commission can urge citizens to reduce gas consumption, but there are no such levers, and the main lever that affects demand is the price. If it is high, naturally, demand is reduced. In Europe, in May it decreased by 15-20% compared to last year. The EC can oblige countries to reduce consumption, but what should governments do? There are consumers, there are energy companies that supply gas. This is a liberal market - there is no state regulation on it. There are direct relationships between suppliers and buyers, and that's it."
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