Security of energy supply is an integral part of the Energy Union strategy. Energy supplies are exposed to risks that include disruption from countries from which the EU import fuel, but also extreme weather, industrial hazards and terrorism and hybrid threats. By working together to prevent and to manage potential crises, the EU and its member countries can make the European energy system more resilient. Solidarity and regional cooperation, as well as speaking with one voice internationally when dealing with supplier countries, are key to this.
At present, the EU imports 54% of all the energy it consumes, at a cost of more than €1 billion per day. Energy also makes up more than 20% of total EU imports. Specifically, the EU imports:
- 90% of its crude oil
- 69% of its natural gas
- 42% of its coal and other solid fuels
- 40% of its uranium and other nuclear fuels.
Security of gas supply
To help protect against gas disruptions, the EU substantially reinforced its security of gas supply laws with the adoption of the Security of Gas Supply Regulation in 2017. EU countries must ensure that gas is supplied to households and other vulnerable customers such as hospitals, even under demanding conditions such as a disruption of main gas infrastructure lasting 30 days, and also prepare Preventive Action Plans and Emergency Plans to prevent and deal with crises. They must cooperate at regional level and help each other to always guarantee gas supply to the most vulnerable consumers even in severe gas crisis situations.
Security of electricity supply
The EU works with member countries and transmission system operators to prevent and manage electricity black-outs. The Electricity Coordination Group is a forum for sharing information. In November 2016, as part of the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' package, the Commission proposed a new Regulation on Electricity Risk-Preparedness.
EU oil stocks
EU countries are required to maintain emergency stocks of oil equal to at least 90 days of their average daily consumption in case there is a disruption to oil supply under the Minimum Stocks of Crude Oil and/or Petroleum Products Directive.
Gas and oil supplier routes
The EU works closely with its supplier countries. This includes collaboration with Russia and Norway who together supply over half of the EU's gas and over 40% of its oil.
At the same time, the EU works with countries along supply routes to prevent supply disruptions. It is also aiming to build new transit routes such as the Southern Gas Corridor to diversify its supplies by bringing in gas from the Caspian countries.