EU prepares public opinion for winter gas siege

(EurActiv, 28 Jul 2022) European Union policymakers have started to prepare the public for siege conditions this winter if gas supplies from Russia are completely cut, an effort to demonstrate diplomatic resolve as well as avoid panic later in the year.

In recent weeks, officials from Germany and other EU member states have begun to talk openly and urgently about the need for immediate reductions in consumption in advance of the peak winter heating season.

They have also started to plan publicly for compulsory allocation, including rationing and prioritisation among industrial users, as well as sharing among member states in the event there is not enough gas to supply everyone.

The stated reason is to accelerate the accumulation of gas reserves over the remainder of the summer to ensure European countries enter the winter with storages filled at maximum.

In reality, gas reserves are rising relatively rapidly and are already above the long-term seasonal average in most member states and across the region as a whole.

Gas reserves across the EU and the United Kingdom (EU28) stood at 751 terawatt-hours (TWh) on 24 July compared with a ten-year seasonal average of 698 TWh.

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EurActiv, 28 Jul 2022: EU prepares public opinion for winter gas siege