Economy

Energy supply: Guy Parmelin “already working on next winter”

Energy supply: Guy Parmelin “already working on next winter”
Written by on100dayloans

The Kremlin is blowing hot and cold on Europe’s hydrocarbon supply. Since Friday, countries deemed “unfriendly” are supposed to pay for their gas and oil deliveries in rubles.

Invited on Friday by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (CCIG), Federal Councilor Guy Parmelin spoke in particular about the energy shock that Europe is experiencing. In this regard, he made no secret of the fact that, in his view, the continent’s dependence on Russia had been underestimated.

Dependent for approximately 43% of gas from this country, Switzerland is particularly vulnerable since it does not have stocks for this source of energy. Everything is done to “minimize the risks”, assures the Minister of the Economy: “We are working hard to see what measures could be implemented if the situation were to deteriorate. We are already working on next winter.

Possible state intervention

It is indeed on this deadline that the fears focus. This week, Bern has signed with six other countries including Germany, Austria and France an international declaration to ensure the supply of gas during the winter. The possibility of using storage facilities across borders is one of the major issues to be resolved.

In the worst case, indicated Guy Parmelin whose services are working on several scenarios, the Federal Council would intervene to ask to save gas. According to specialists, he recalled, one degree less in apartments could reduce gas consumption by seven percent.

In businesses, some gas installations could also run on extra light fuel oil. The supply office has asked companies equipped to test this type of system which could solve “20% of the problem”. However, the latitude is sometimes less than it seems, recalled the Vaudois politician, citing an example mentioned in the media: a laundry can only work at 80% of its energy regime because the slightest drop paralyzes the whole ‘activity.

A destiny linked to Russian gas

Will we be able to do without Russian gas next December? We have to find alternatives but not have any short-term illusions, answered Guy Parmelin who mentioned liquefied gas from Qatar. A promising option but not for now, because you need terminals and infrastructure to transform the gas. Count, what is more, with a higher price.

The Federal Councilor was also asked about the risks of blackouts and electricity shortages. This week, Elcom, the Federal Electricity Commission did not rule out rationing for the coming winter: On this front, Guy Parmelin is a little less worried. Especially if the water accumulation reserves in the dams can be put in place: “There we have room for maneuver unlike gas”, wants to believe the Minister of the Economy.

A law is currently under discussion in parliament to require water companies to retain a certain amount of water for the winter period. In the event of an emergency, the Confederation could also intervene by means of an ordinance.

Read also: Gas poker between Moscow and Europe

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