The Energy Community Secretariat has released its annual report on the implementation of Regulation (EU) 2022/1032, commonly known as the Storage Regulation. This regulation, adopted within the Energy Community, requires the Secretariat to provide regular updates on the progress made by Contracting Parties in fulfilling storage obligations and certifying storage system operators.
According to the report, the Contracting Parties with storage facilities, namely Serbia and Ukraine, have achieved significant milestones in meeting the prescribed targets. Both countries successfully fulfilled the November 1, 2022 target, as well as the intermediary targets on February 1 and May 1, 2023. The report underlines how these accomplishments have played a crucial role in addressing the energy crisis triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The implementation of Regulation (EU) 2017/1938, which was amended in 2022 to incorporate gas storage filling targets, has proven effective in enhancing the security of energy supply during the winter of 2022/2023. Furthermore, it has laid a strong foundation for the upcoming goal of reaching a 90% target by November 1, 2023.
In its recommendations, the report suggests that market-based measures should be utilized to the greatest extent possible to fill storage sites for the next season. It also encourages Contracting Parties without storage facilities to establish cooperation mechanisms with neighboring countries that possess storage capacities, such as burden-sharing agreements. The Secretariat emphasizes its commitment to developing such agreements for this purpose.
The report commends the certification of Ukrtransgaz, the storage system operator in Ukraine, as it represents only the second certification of its kind in all of Europe. However, it advises Ukraine to intensify efforts in bolstering the business case for its national gas storage system. Additionally, Ukraine is urged to avoid imposing onerous administrative requirements and to implement further measures aimed at mitigating regulatory risks, including the gas export ban, and risks associated with the ongoing war.
Serbia, on the other hand, is advised to amend its legislation promptly and expedite the certification process for its national storage system operator. The Secretariat stresses the importance of accelerating the certification without any delays.
The Energy Community Secretariat's report showcases the successful implementation of the Storage Regulation, underscoring the progress made by Contracting Parties in fulfilling storage obligations and enhancing energy security. By providing recommendations for future improvements, the report aims to foster cooperation and best practices in filling storage sites, ensuring a more resilient and reliable energy system within the Energy Community.