The EU’s energy strategy for Russia will largely bypass Ireland as there are no direct ties to the bloc

Ireland remains on the fringes of the EU’s latest energy emergency plan due to a lack of infrastructure.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled a range of new measures aimed at reducing prices and covering potential shortages this winter and next.

The measures end before a gas price cap, but as a last resort include a “dynamic price cap” on Europe’s main gas exchange, a temporary “spike collar” to limit daily fluctuations in energy derivatives markets and a new price benchmark for liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Proposals include pooling gas purchases, sharing gas stocks in an emergency and redirecting €40 billion of unspent EU budget funds to help vulnerable businesses and households.

They have to be approved by EU governments before they can be fleshed out.

But without gas storage facilities, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals or pipeline links to mainland Europe, Ireland will be entirely dependent on the UK for a supply crisis this winter and next.

A Commission proposal published yesterday promises “strong coordination” with non-EU countries when purchasing gas.

The text says the bloc will “ensure that a member state facing an emergency receives gas from the others in exchange for fair compensation”, including EU members linked “through a third country”.

Ireland gets around 30 per cent of its gas supplies from the Corrib field and the majority from two pipelines linking Scotland to Northern Ireland.

“The European single market for gas and uninterrupted gas trade within the Union are a prerequisite for a safe winter for all Europeans this year and next,” the proposal reads.

Ms von der Leyen said the EU will study a Spanish-style system that caps the price of gas used to generate electricity.

But she said there needs to be a balance to ensure EU countries don’t subsidize “cheap electricity” for their neighbors inside and outside the bloc.

The EU has already filled its gas storage facilities to 91 per cent, but braces for more pain next year or harsher weather this winter.

Many of the new measures will not come into force until next March – the derivatives collar is to apply from January – and will be linked to the reduction in gas consumption.

“We cannot create higher gas demand,” said EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson.

According to European Commission data, Ireland is the only country where gas consumption increased in the second quarter of this year.

Irish gas consumption rose 6.4% year-on-year, while in the EU as a whole it fell 16%.

EU leaders, including Taoiseach Micheál Martin, will discuss the measures at a summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

But the bloc is divided, with Italy, Poland, Greece and Belgium supporting a wholesale price cap but differing on how it should be implemented.

Both Germany and the Netherlands say a price cap will only discourage alternative suppliers from selling energy into the EU.

Spain and Portugal’s cap on gas for power generation is backed by France.

Finance Secretary Paschal Donohoe and Environment Secretary Eamon Ryan have previously opposed a gas price cap, saying it could have unintended consequences, including an increase in energy consumption. The EU’s energy strategy for Russia will largely bypass Ireland as there are no direct ties to the bloc

Fry Electronics Team

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