The EU wants to save 15 percent of gas
Switzerland will not join Brussels!
Starting Monday, EU countries want to voluntarily use 15 percent less gas to prevent shortages. And Switzerland? She didn’t join the savings plan – because she couldn’t!
Vladimir Putin (69) screws on the gas pipeline. And only in one direction: he turns it slowly. Russian gas giant Gazprom recently announced that it will reduce gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline from the current 40 percent to 20 percent of maximum capacity. Energy ministers from all EU countries are excited. Europe fears that gas supplies from Russia will be cut off.
Van der Leyen’s Emergency Plan: EU countries must save 15 percent of gas(01:12)
So representatives of EU countries have drawn up an emergency plan to reduce gas consumption. From August 1 to March 31, 2023, national consumption is to be voluntarily reduced by 15 percent. Bond savings targets may be introduced in the event of long-term supply constraints.
Switzerland is dependent on Germany
The emergency plan enjoys broad support – including from Germany, which is heavily dependent on gas supplies from Russia. Switzerland is also at the end of Germany’s gas pipeline. Three-fourths of the gas consumed in this country comes from Germany. Switzerland relies on Germany for gas supplies despite shortages. So should Switzerland also participate in the emergency plan?
Bligh asked the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (UVEK). “It is impossible to say at this time what the consequences of the voluntary actions (…) will be at the outset,” it said. However, the Federal Council cannot currently provide an EU-style concrete reduction target. The Act on National Economic Supply prohibits reductions in gas consumption before shortages occur.
The important question: who will do without?
UVEK didn’t want to let it get that far. In the background, they have been working for months to find solutions to secure supplies for the coming winter. “Switzerland is negotiating solidarity agreements with countries with whom we have direct contact in the gas sector,” says UVEK. Related talks between Switzerland and Germany have already started on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos GR.
There is therefore no concrete reduction target for gas in Switzerland. But last week, the central government came up with a four-phase plan in case of gas shortage. First, the Federal Council relies on austerity appeals. If that’s not enough, the dual fuel systems switch from gas to oil. If all else fails, restrictions and quotas cannot be avoided.
However, the important question is who will do without gas in case of quotas. Private homes and hospitals and blue light establishments are protected. On the other hand, industrial companies have to scramble for their supply.
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