COVID-19 crisis: The Energy Community’s response

31 March 2020

As the impacts of the coronavirus on the energy sector unfold, the Secretariat has made all its resources available to support the Energy Community Contracting Parties in the management of the crisis and the future recovery process. As set out in a communication to the Energy Community Ministerial Council, the Secretariat will exhaust all regulatory and financial flexibilities available under the acquis communautaire and provide support swiftly and non-bureaucratically. In the communication, the Secretariat defines a first set of priority actions. 

Security of Supply

As part of its efforts, the Secretariat, in consultation with the Security of Supply Coordination Groups, will continuously monitor the security of supply situation. The first results of the monitoring were published today.

According to the report, the energy sectors continue to function well in the Energy Community Contracting Parties. Energy (electricity and natural gas) supply, market functioning and cross-border trade on the interconnections in the Energy Community are currently uninterrupted. The level of fuel reserves and the hydrological situation, both in the Balkans and in Eastern Europe, remain stable. The transmission and distribution networks continue to function. As elsewhere in Europe, the Contracting Parties have taken measures to protect the health of power plant, utility and system operator employees.

Nevertheless, there are a number of concerns including the lack of preventive medical supplies for critical staff. Short-term issues include the postponement of maintenance works that could potentially lead to re-planning and possible net transfer capacity reduction, increased risk of cyber intrusion to the IT/OT systems during the work from home regime, etc. In the long-term, the financial liquidity of energy companies in the whole supply chain could be at risk due to non-payment and depreciation of national currencies could result in higher procurement costs. Moreover, system security in the forthcoming summer and winter seasons could be endangered should maintenance not be done timely.

The Secretariat will keep monitoring the security of supply situation in the region and keep you abreast of any significant developments, including through regular updates on the homepage of its website.