The French government will examine “in the coming days” the extension of the tariff shield for gas
The Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, is taking advantage of her trip to the GRTgaz gas dispatching site in Île-de-France to announce several measures against rising gas prices and Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. Among these: the examination “in the next few days” an extension of the tariff shield against the increase in gas prices.
This measure should take shape at the heart of the “purchasing power” bill which will be presented to the Council of Ministers on July 6th. A message “reassuring in the short term” according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Launched in October 2021, the tariff shield allowed regulated gas sales tariffs to be frozen in the face of the price increase caused by the post-pandemic economic recovery and the tensions on gas supply.
In mid-February 2022, ahead of the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the government had already extended the system once. With the conflict escalating and reduced trade between Russia and member countries of the European Union (EU), the tariff shield is more topical than ever.
100% filling of gas storage sites
The Prime Minister also announced a new objective: 100% filling of French gas storage sites for this winter. For the time being, the current devices only require filling to 85% on October 1. The new device “will not cost anything more”provides the firm, provided that “the price of gas remains the same as today”.
These measures are therefore even more ambitious than those just approved by the European Parliament, which aim to fill gas storage facilities in the EU to 80% by 1 November 2022. Member States must s strive to reach 85%, in order to facilitate the achievement of 90% filling as objectively for 2023.
Furthermore, “We will have a more favorable situation in France than in other European countries”specifies the office of the Prime Minister, in particular because of the large storage capacities of the country and its lower gas consumption than a certain number of other European countries.
Nevertheless, France plays a very important role in gas transit. Located in the center of Western Europe, it thus forms the link between the regasification terminals of the Iberian Peninsula and the interior of the continent.
The Prime Minister’s office thus assures that by the end of the summer, France will receive enough natural gas to “ensure storage for the winter and show solidarity”. In other words, to offer sufficient quantities of gas to Belgium in particular, but also to Switzerland and Italy.
Government services even ensure that France is “fairly resilient” and able to adapt to a reduced offer. Especially since the forecasts would not know about the shortage, they specify.
New floating LNG terminal in Le Havre for 2023
Added to this is a third long-term measure. The government plans to install a new floating LNG terminal in Le Havre and connect it in 2023. Objective: “cover almost 10% of French gas consumption”.
In parallel with these measures concerning gas, the government is working to accelerate and simplify the deployment of renewable energies. The law is “in the pipes”assures the Ministry of Energy Transition.
Similarly, the ministry announces as an objective “that energy sobriety becomes an element of social dialogue”. For this, it should launch an awareness campaign in the fall. For this summer ” this is not the moment “he specifies, preferring “continue to communicate very strongly on ways to save energy”.
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