Greece rejects an EU proposal to decrease nations’ gas use by 15% by March, according to a government official, after the country announced a contingency plan that includes rotating power cuts as a last option if Russian gas supplies are blocked.

The European Commission suggested on Wednesday a voluntary objective for all EU nations to reduce gas consumption by 15% from August to March, compared to their average consumption in the same period from 2016 to 2021. more info

“The Greek government does not agree in principle with the EU proposal for a 15 percent reduction in gas usage” stated government spokesperson Giannis Oikonomou.

“We have submitted a series of proposals regarding gas prices …. and gas supply and we will insist on supporting them as a European solution,” he added.

To assist reduce increasing energy costs, Greece has suggested an EU limit mechanism on wholesale power pricing and joint gas purchases.

Spain has also said that it cannot endorse the EU plan in the absence of discussions. more info

Greece depends on Russian pipeline gas for 40% of its gas demand and has not seen any supply disruptions so far. It has replaced a large portion of Russian fuel with LNG supplied from the United States and other nations.

If Russian gas supplies are interrupted, the nation intends to execute rotating power outages as a last option, according to a draft contingency plan revealed on Thursday.

These emergency steps will be implemented only if earlier initiatives, such as increasing coal-fired power capacity, requesting users to limit power usage during peak hours, and suspending power exports, prove inadequate, according to the country’s energy regulator.

According to European Union norms, Greece would also need to store enough gas in other countries ahead of the winter to meet 15% of its annual demand – 900 million cubic meters – since it lacks gas storage facilities. 

According to a government source, Athens has been in negotiations with Italy about storing gas there ahead of the winter, and with the European Commission about storing a lesser amount in Italy.

Source: Reuters

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