European Commission head concerned over bloc's dependency on gas
The head of the European Commission said Wednesday that the bloc was too reliant on gas and gas imports with the rise of electricity prices in Europe because of the demand for natural gas, Anadolu Agency reports.
Ursula von der Leyen said the world was affected by an energy price spike but that there was something specific to the situation in Europe.
"We are too reliant on gas, too dependent on gas imports. It makes us vulnerable. We need to diversify suppliers but crucially, speed up the transition to clean energy," she wrote on Twitter.
She emphasized that Europeans expected a quick response and that the EU’s priority is to give relief to vulnerable families and businesses.
"Under EU rules, Member States can take measures swiftly. This includes state aid, targeted support to consumers and cuts to energy taxes," she said.
Pointing out that the EU Commission will take action to end speculation in energy markets, von der Leyen said the bloc will evaluate the functioning of the electricity market and contact new gas suppliers.
She said the EU also evaluated the possibility of creating strategic gas reserves and purchasing gas jointly and that it accelerated renewable investments.
The recent economic recovery at the global level has increased the demand for natural gas worldwide and prices have risen rapidly as the natural gas supply remained stable.
In Europe, where approximately 20% of electricity production is met from natural gas, the decrease in electricity production in hydroelectric power plants due to drought and the decrease in electricity generation from wind energy, necessarily increased the share of gas in production. Electricity prices in Europe also climbed rapidly due to rising natural gas prices and rising demand.
With the arrival of the winter, natural gas demand and electricity prices in Europe are expected to increase even more. Consumers are also complaining about rising natural gas and electricity prices.
EU states leaders will also discuss the increase in energy prices at the EU Leaders' Summit in Brussels on Oct. 21-22.