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Europe should focus on long-term electricity market, says Czech minister

Oil&Gas Materials 27 February 2023 15:36 (UTC +04:00)
Europe should focus on long-term electricity market, says Czech minister
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.27. Europe has to focus on long-term electricity market, Jozef Sikela, Minister of Industry and Trade, Czech Republic, said ahead of the Informal Energy and Transport Ministerial meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, Trend reports.

“We have two important topics to discuss today. In the morning we will start with the upcoming electricity market design. Of course, a plenty of legal measures have been taken to last year and we have to continue with this effort. However, we have to be extremely careful, because we’ve seen that the short-term market basically works. It there is more demand than the offer, the prices will go up. So, rather than completely changing the short-term market, we have to focus on long-term market, especially, on the generation,” he said.

Sikela went on to add that when it comes to gas, a lot has been achieved so far.

“In the Czech Republic we were able to save in 2022 compared to previous years around 20 percent of gas and basically, this was the success across Europe. We have to discuss what to do with gas purchases in order to avoid the same mistakes and the price spikes this year. Historically high levels in gas storages before the heating seasons mean we may have historically high levels in storages after the heating season. It is a great precondition to have gas storages prepared for the next winter and maybe a solution to get rid of Russian gas in 2024 latest,” the minister explained.

One of the measures which EU countries have agreed on is to increase gas reserves in the short term, in order to secure sufficient supply for Europeans. To this end, EU countries, within the Council, adopted a regulation in June 2022 to ensure that storage capacities in the Union are regularly filled before the colder months and can be shared across the Union, in a spirit of solidarity.

The regulation provided that underground gas storage on member states’ territory must be filled to at least 80 percent of their capacity before the winter of 2022/2023 and to 90 percent before the subsequent winter periods.

The regulation has been swiftly implemented. In September 2022, the EU had its storage facilities filled by 80 percent on average. In October 2022, filling level reached 90 percent. In December 2022, gas reserves started to be used up due to the weather, but as of January 2023, the filling level remains above 80 percent.

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