Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) spoke of “market failure in the sense of security of supply” on Monday morning at a short-term press conference. She particularly criticized the energy suppliers in Austria. There is enough non-Russian gas on the European market. In addition, OMV’s new long-term supply contract with Gazprom, which was drawn up in 2018, was a “politically supported” mistake.
While the share of Russian gas in Austria was 43 percent in August, it was 90 percent in October, as reported. And in December it was 98 percent – a record, as Gewessler explained. “It’s going in the wrong direction.”
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Gewessler announces 3 measures
The politician announced three measures. Firstly, the Gas Industry Act should be changed so that energy suppliers are obliged to diversify. This requires a two-thirds majority in parliament. In the next few weeks, negotiations should take place with the coalition partner ÖVP and the other parties, said Gewessler.
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Secondly, it should be examined how OMV can get out of the contract with Gazprom. The economic research institute Wifo is expected to prepare a report on the economic policy effects and costs by summer. Thirdly, Gewessler is planning a new security strategy. Because dependence on Russia in the energy sector is a “danger”.