How can Europe prevent the next energy crisis?

Publishing date
06 February 2023
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As a result of high gas storage volumes, achieved through significant demand reduction, the EU is in a comfortable position this winter. However, this should not be taken for granted. Ensuring competitive gas prices continue to be a challenge for Europe and until demand and supply are structurally re-adjusted, international gas market conditions will remain tight.

The EU’s attention must swiftly turn to planning for winter 2023/24. Gas storages need to be 90% full by 1 October 2023. Achieving this target depends on how demand reduction and LNG, the two pillars of Europe’s current energy security architecture, are handled. Positive signs have emerged in the last year showing that both industry and households can reduce their gas demand. However, gas demand reduction should be built into policy in the future.

Regarding LNG, the rapid deployment of regasification units must continue, as this alleviates concerns over import infrastructure capacity. As the EU keeps competing for cargoes internationally and remains vulnerable to global dynamics, utilising the EU Energy Platform might benefit Europe.

EU policymaking should drive a shift away from gas. This involves rapid deployment of renewables and accompanying grid infrastructure, energy efficiency measures, support for households to switch toward cleaner heating sources and collaboration with industry stakeholders to accelerate the adoption of new low-carbon production methods. 

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About the authors

  • Simone Tagliapietra

    Simone Tagliapietra is a Senior fellow at Bruegel. He is also a Professor of EU Energy and Climate Policy at The Johns Hopkins University - School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Europe.

    His research focuses on the EU climate and energy policy and on the political economy of global decarbonisation. With a record of numerous policy and scientific publications, also in leading journals such as Nature and Science, he is the author of Global Energy Fundamentals (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and co-author of The Macroeconomics of Decarbonisation (Cambridge University Press, 2024).

    His columns and policy work are widely published and cited in leading international media such as the BBC, CNN, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Corriere della Sera, Le Monde, El Pais, and several others.

    Simone also is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Clean Air Task Force (CATF). He holds a PhD in Institutions and Policies from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. Born in the Dolomites in 1988, he speaks Italian, English and French.

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