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S&Ds propose measures to avoid electricity shortages and crises


Today the parliamentary committee on industry, research and energy supported the report drafted by S&D MEP Flavio Zanonato on risk preparedness in the electricity sector.
Currently, member states behave very differently when it comes to preventing, preparing for, and managing crisis situations. National rules and practices tend to disregard the reality of today’s interconnected electricity market. This is why the Socialists and Democrats back the Commission’s proposal to strengthen solidarity and ensure interoperability in the responses to any crisis.
MEP Flavio Zanonato said:
“Even where markets and systems function well, an electricity crisis can start for a variety of reasons such as extreme weather conditions, malicious attacks including cyber-attacks, or just a fuel shortage.
“Furthermore, where crises situations occur, they often have a cross-border effect because the electricity system is already integrated. Therefore, circumstances such as a prolonged cold spell or a heat wave might affect several member states, and even incidents that started locally may rapidly spread across borders. That’s why we need to be ready and fill the regulatory gap that we have today.”
“I strongly support the principle of mandatory solidarity and co-operation among member states in times of electricity crises. To this aim, we push forward common rules on crisis prevention and tools to ensure cross-border co-operation, as well as management of electricity crises situations. Regarding the security of supplies indicators and risk assessments, member states will retain the possibility to develop their own risk assessments. However, this must be carried out according to a homogeneous methodology. National and regional risk assessment plans, in fact, need to be interoperable in order to be effective under any crisis condition.”
S&D spokesperson on industry, energy and research, Dan Nica MEP, added:
“The EU was born as a reaction to a fact: that we are all interdependent and we can better solve our problems together. And this is particularly true when it comes to energy, a crucial sector for the economy and for the well-being of our citizens.
“Already in January 2017 we saw how the lack of EU risk preparedness had disastrous effects when the electricity crisis hit Bulgaria, Greece and Romania. It damaged the economy, endangered public safety and harmed consumers who were exposed to increased prices. It also put the solidarity between EU member states to the test. 
“We should be better prepared next time. The EU can contribute by providing an ambitious framework for identifying, assessing, preparing, managing, monitoring, and sharing information on electricity crises.”