Brussels, 8 March 2022 (TDI): European Commission outlined a plan to make Europe independent of Russian fossil fuels by 2030. In the plan, there are also a series of measures to respond to rising energy prices in Europe and also to replenish gas stocks for next winter.

European Commission has said that after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Europe is facing high energy prices. The European Union is importing 90% of its gas consumption, with Russia providing around 45% of those imports, in varying levels across the Member States.

Russia also accounts for around 25% of oil imports and 45% of coal imports. European Commission has affirmed that they will end their dependency on Russian fossil fuels by 2030. For this, the Commission proposes a REPowerEU plan.

This plan will seek to diversify gas supplies, speed up the roll-out of renewable gases and replace gas in heating and power generation. By doing this, EU dependency on Russian gas will reduce by two-thirds before the end of the year.

Emergency measures on energy prices and gas storage

Since October, the Commission’s ‘Energy Prices Toolbox’ assisted members to mitigate the effects of high prices on vulnerable consumers. Now, the Commission will consider all possible options to address high energy prices.

The European Commission comes with additional guidance. This guidance is to regulate prices in exceptional circumstances and set out how the Member States can redistribute revenue from high energy sector profits and emissions trading to consumers.

The EU aid rules provide short-term support to companies that are affected by high energy prices. This helps them to reduce energy price fluctuations in the medium to long term.

In the future, the Commission with the help of member states will provide aid to companies affected by the crisis under the scope of a new State aid Temporary Crisis Framework.

The commission plans to introduce legislation by April that requires the EU to fill at least 90% of its gas reserves by October 1 each year. The proposal would include arrangements for monitoring and enforcement of filling levels and arrangements for solidarity among member countries.