Energy regulators call for mandatory regional plans for gas security of supply at the Madrid Forum, Brussels, 14 October 2015

• Fully implement the Gas Balancing Network Code
• Define protected customers at EU level
• LNG and storage are important to delivering security of supply

Today, the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) presented at the Madrid Forum
(14-15 October 2015) a concept for enhancing security of supply in Europe based on market-based solutions and regionally (rather than nationally) focused security of supply plans. See our Concept Paper on Gas Security of Supply.

To enhance cross-border cooperation, CEER supports mandatory regional plans. Walter Boltz, Chair of the CEER Gas Working Group, said: “The regional plans would be complementary to national plans (risk assessment, preventive action plan and emergency plan).”

Fully implement the Gas Balancing Network Code
Walter Boltz, explained that completion of the Internal Energy Market is the crucial basis of any EU security of supply strategy and is necessary to deliver robust price signals: “The Third Package framework, including network codes, needs to be fully implemented. The Gas Balancing Network Code obliges suppliers to contract sufficient volumes of gas for customers and ensures that sufficient gas is available to satisfy consumers’ needs as long as the network is in balance.”

Define protected customers at EU level
CEER also argues for more solidarity between Member States, inter alia by harmonising definitions of protected customers at EU level so that a protected customer in one Member State is treated equally in other Member States in the case of an emergency.

LNG and storage are important to delivering security of supply
Regarding a European strategy for LNG, CEER stressed that investments driven by market signals represent the most effective way of balancing risks. Mechanisms such as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) are one option (among others) to support expansion of interconnection capacity where market signals indicate a need.

Mr Boltz cautioned that “concepts such as demand aggregation through common purchasing could raise competition issues and thus distort the functioning of gas markets.”

With respect to gas storage, Mr Boltz also advocated a market-based and regional approach. He explained “It is not possible to define single optimum levels/shares of LNG or storage.”

The European Commission has welcomed CEER’s (April) response to the Commission’s consultation on the revision of the Gas Security of Supply Regulation (994/2010), our response to the LNG and Storage Strategy (September) and our (July) Concept Paper as valuable inputs as the Commission revises Europe’s Security of Supply Regulation.

To read the full press release with Notes for Editors, please click here

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