14 Mar 2024, 13:40
Benjamin Wehrmann

Italy, Germany, Switzerland agree gas solidarity transfers

Clean Energy Wire

Germany will enter into solidarity agreements for gas supply with Italy and Switzerland in a bid to improve energy security across Europe in response to the energy crisis of 2022, the economy ministry has said. Minister Robert Habeck plans to sign the agreement with his counterparts, Italian environment minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin and Swiss environment and energy councilor Albert Rösti, on the sidelines of the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) next week. The agreement is primarily made between Germany and Italy but includes neighbouring Switzerland in a trilateral scheme as gas transfers will be carried out through Swiss territory. “For the extremely unlikely scenario of a gas shortage, we have defined mechanisms spelling out how Germany, Italy and Switzerland can help each other quickly,” minister Habeck said. The agreement will send an important signal of European solidarity beyond the EU, of which Switzerland is not a member, and demonstrates crisis prevention in the integrated European gas market, he argued, adding that more countries would hopefully join similar initiatives soon.

Germany already has similar solidarity mechanisms in place with Denmark and Austria. Solidarity gas deliveries are described “as a means of last resort in case of a severe gas shortage” to guarantee the supply to critical infrastructure. Gas storage operators earlier this month said they expect that Germany will be able to completely fill its gas storage for the upcoming winter season 2024/2025.

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