Wednesday, 5 October, 2022

EU to hold emergency energy talks on Sept 9

EU to hold emergency energy talks on Sept 9

PRAGUE: EU energy ministers will hold urgent talks on September 9, a Czech minister said on Monday, as prices spiral across Europe following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"I am convening an extraordinary meeting of the Energy Council. We will meet in Brussels on the 9th September," Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela said on Twitter, reports AFP.

"We must fix the energy market. Solution on the EU level is by far the best we have," said Sikela, whose country holds the EU presidency.

The move comes as the 27-nation bloc is trying to shed dependence on supplies of Russian oil and gas following Moscow's assault on Ukraine.

Reduced supplies and anxiety over the future have sparked rocket growth in energy prices across Europe.

On Friday, Germany and France reported record electricity prices, with the German year-ahead contract jumping to 995 euros ($995) per megawatt hours while the French equivalent soared past 1,100 euros -- compared to 85 euros in both countries last year.

The European Commission is planning to cut EU dependency on Russian gas by two-thirds this year and end its reliance on Russian supplies of the fuel before 2030.

The EU has targeted the Russian energy sector in its sanctions, banning coal imports from Russia.

Its plan to cut gas consumption across the bloc by 15 percent to cope with the energy price crisis came into effect earlier this month.

The aim is for the EU to be able to bolster its reserves of gas in time for what is likely to be a very tough winter.

EU nations are launching power saving drives to rein in soaring bills, including measures to cut back on air conditioning, switch off illuminated advertising screens at night and banning the heating of private swimming pools.

Germany, which is heavily dependent on Russian gas, said on Sunday is was replenishing its gas stocks more quickly than expected and should meet an October target early.

Some member countries, however, have had carve-outs from strictly following the rules as they are too dependent on Russian supplies.