The Slovenia Times

Slovenia secures exemption from gas reduction target

Ljubljana's main co-generation plant. Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Slovenia has secured an exemption from a voluntary EU target under which member states have pledged to continue reducing natural gas consumption until March 2024, a move the authorities say is vital for the country.

The capital Ljubljana is about to swap out coal for natural gas in district heating, which will significantly improve air quality in the city but substantially increase the consumption of natural gas.

Slovenia reduced consumption by about 14% between August 2022 and March this year under a previous voluntary scheme, slightly below the EU target.

The new natural gas unit is projected to account for roughly 15% of Slovenia's total natural gas consumption, and any existing gains in savings will therefore be offset by its operation.

Energy Minister Bojan Kumer said the exemption was vital for the country and he thanked his counterparts at a meeting in Brussels on 28 March for confirming it.

Reduction in natural gas consumption was one of several measures at the EU level designed to overcome the energy crisis. In the EU, gas consumption dropped by 19.3% between August 2022 and January this year, data from the EU Council show.

Now, the EU is launching a structural reform of the electricity market. "So far we like the direction in which the European Commission is going. It reduces the effect of gas on electricity prices, especially in short-term markets," said Kumer.


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