Looking into the Policy, Legal and Institutional Framework of the New EU Energy Platform
Published 2 May 2023
The REPowerEU Plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels seems to bear fruits. Before the war in Ukraine, the EU imported 155 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year from Russia. In 2022, 61 bcm was imported from Russia and by mid-February 2023 that number decreased to 500 million cubic metres. Russian gas has amounted to around 8% of all pipeline gas imported in the EU since September 2022. Moreover, the price of European natural gas has fallen from €300 /MWh in August 2022 to below €50 /MWh in February 2023.
Despite the progress towards reducing dependency from Russia and stabilising energy markets, the EU could still face a 30 bcm shortfall in gas it needs to fuel its economy and sufficiently refill storage sites during summer of 2023. Therefore, the biggest challenge on energy security is yet to come in the winter of 2023-2024, according to the IEA.
The EU Energy Platform, which became the Energy AggregateEU Platform (the “Platform”), was set up in the context of the REPowerEU Plan to address high gas prices and diversify energy imports away from Russia. It has received growing attention since its proposal and establishment, both endorsing and questioning its added value.
The Platform was presented by the European Commission (the “Commission”) as a new coordination mechanism based on three pillars: pooling energy demand from member states, negotiating energy supply deals with international partners and coordinating infrastructure use within the EU. This paper approaches each of the three pillars from a policy, legal and institutional perspective in an attempt to better understand the Platform’s role in the broader context of the REPowerEU and the European Green Deal.
Footnotes omitted from this introduction.
This paper will be part of the OGEL Special Issue on "The Impact of the War in Ukraine on the Energy Sector". More information here www.ogel.org/news.asp?key=718