Gewessler admits: – Share of Russian gas “still too high”


With his ‘blood money’ claim and his blunt criticism of Austria’s gas imports from Russia, the representative of the European Commission in Vienna, Martin Selmayr, has caused a lot of diplomatic controversy – but it was mainly about his choice of words and not so much about the content of his words. his criticism. Gas imports from Russia are “of course still too high,” according to Energy Ministry Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens).

In fact, Austria still covers a large part of its gas needs with imports from Russia. They accounted for two-thirds of Austrian gas imports in July. “This is of course still too high and funds Russia’s war of aggression,” the Energy Ministry said.

Share of Russian gas reduced from 80 to 50%
However, dependence on Russian gas has already been significantly reduced. “Before the start of the Russian war in Ukraine, dependence on Russian gas suppliers was about 80 percent. In the aftermath of the energy crisis, Austria has already managed to significantly reduce its dependence on Russian gas supplies, thanks to extensive government efforts. From August 2022 to July 2023, the share of Russian pipeline deliveries in Austrian gas imports averaged 50 percent,” the ministry said.

The share can fluctuate significantly from month to month. Most recently, in July 2023, this was 66 percent. The Ministry of Energy believes that phasing out Russian gas is a top priority when it comes to achieving energy security in Austria and could be achieved by 2027. The amendment to the Gas Industry Act (GWG) should also contribute to this, with incentives to store non-Russian gas. The proposal is currently being discussed by parliament and requires a constitutional majority.

E-Control board emphasizes the need for diversification
E-Control board member Wolfgang Urbantschitsch also emphasized in the ZiB2 on Thursday that Austria had already reduced the share of Russian gas from 80 to about 55 percent. At the same time, he pointed out the need to diversify energy sources, reduce gas consumption and invest in pipeline infrastructure.

If Ukraine makes good on its announcement that it will no longer allow gas to pass through its territory to Austria and Europe from 2024, Urbantschitsch expects higher prices, but no “price spikes” like last year.

Source: Krone


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