The Commission has set out today the intermediate gas storage filling targets that Member States should meet next year in order to reach the 90% gas storage target by 1 November 2023. Foreseen under the Gas Storage Regulation, agreed in June 2022, today’s implementing regulation defines the intermediate targets for the 1st of February, May, July and September 2023 for those Member States with underground storage on their territory and connected to their market area. These trajectories are aimed at enabling Member States to fulfil the 90% storage target set in the Regulation by 1 November.
These targets are based on the proposals made by Member States in their storage plans, submitted in September, the filling rates of the preceding 5 years and the Commission’s assessment of the general security of supply situation. The draft figures were also assessed by the Gas Coordination Group, which acts as an adviser to the Commission, and by the Gas Storage Committee. Subject to a margin of five percentage points, these binding targets are the minimum thresholds that need to be respected by Member States to ensure a certain level of security of supply and the refilling of storage facilities for the winter 2023-2024. If this is not the case, the Commission can take effective measures to avoid security of gas supply problems resulting from unfilled storage facilities.
Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson said:
It is key that we already start preparing for the winter of next year. We have to minimise the impact of Russian manipulations and possible hikes in demand due to weather or global market conditions. Setting a trajectory now for 2023 provides market operators with much-needed certainty and helps the EU go through next year’s winter safely.
Well-filled underground gas storage facilities contribute to the security of gas supply by providing additional gas for heating in winter and in the event of high demand or supply disruptions. This is even more important in the context of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine and the Kremlin’s weaponisation of its gas exports.
The gas storage regulation was instrumental in getting EU countries to refill storage this year to achieve an unprecedented 95% filling rate by 1 November 2022. These trajectories aim at getting EU countries to keep next November’s target in mind, even before the filling season gets under way again in March 2023.
Going forward, MemberStates should make the best possible use of all available coordination tools at EU level, including aggregating demand and taking part in joint-purchasing mechanisms, which will facilitate better coordinated filling and storage management, and avoid excessive prices.