Let me explain why the European Gas Agreement is fresh water. Tabarelli speaks

Interview with the president of Nomisma Energia. The agreement reached in Brussels has something surreal, it resembles a kind of rain dance given its voluntary nature. The real recipe is nationwide rationing, which is inevitable in case of further reductions in flows from Gazprom. And yet people may not be willing to put on an extra sweater at home

It is easy to reduce gas consumption. Less energy from Russia, less money for Moscow and perhaps a blow to the tooth Vladimir Putin. Then of course someone in the house has to wear an extra sweater, otherwise a company will reduce production by a few hours. But in Europe’s logic, fresh from the political agreement on gas (mandatory cut of 15% between August 2022 and March 2023 in consumption in the event of a state of emergency or if Gazprom reduces supplies well above the current 20%) way is the right one.

Italy, which, apart from agreements with Algeria, is still heavily dependent on Russia, could even get away with a 7% reduction, at least according to the minister of ecological transition, who has always been optimistic, Roberto Cingolani. Yet he says a Formiche.net David Tabarelli, chairman of Nomisma Energia, the European agreement is little more than a mistake, perhaps almost a red herring. For a very simple reason: politics and its decisions are far from everyday life in each country, rationing, if and when necessary, will have to be done on a national basis. And it won’t be a health walk.

Europe has found the political agreement on gas, member states will have to reduce flows by up to 15%. What do you think?

I think it’s surreal, I don’t have a better term. We come from a year of doubled, tripled bills, not taking into account the increase in the last few hours, with gas at 225 euros. Nevertheless, consumption fell slightly, both for electricity and gas. Do you know what that means?

I listen to her…

Which is sheer folly to imagine telling European countries to cut consumption by 15% when bills three times heavier than a year ago resulted in a 2-3% reduction in consumption. I want to understand what they expect in Brussels, if they really believe that consumption will really fall and if people will do as they are told. Do you know what I think? That more than an agreement from Europe seems to hear more of a prayer, a rain dance. But the reality is different.

So you are saying that the agreement reached yesterday will not only be useless, but above all it will not reduce consumption as Europe expects?

Exactly. To begin with, it is all on a voluntary basis, in the sense that the member states are encouraged to cut consumption under the same agreement. And then 15% seems a bit much to me. But above all, another piece of nonsense, I would like to understand if and when the countries themselves will implement this invitation. Look, governments are afraid of people’s anger, it’s not that easy. The truth is that the measure proposed by Europe is insufficient.

So, Tabarelli, what is to be done?

Ration, but seriously. On a national basis, as Gazprom further reduces supplies. Minister Cingolani often invents things, which is dangerous. We have to ration when it gets cold, period. But it is a complex job, a list of topics must be made that can be used as a starting point. Companies, industries, power plants. And that may not be enough, and then we should think by areas. This is the work that needs to be done, in Italy and elsewhere. We are seriously talking about rationing, hoping it doesn’t help.

Excuse me, but the houses, the houses?

In Rome it will be difficult to ration, people will not accept it because they are angry. Maybe we should start somewhere else. The fact is that Europe is only a political program, nothing more.

In short, if Gazprom cuts, Europe rations …

You can be sure of this. But like I said, it won’t be easy. Take a tour of Milan and see how many shops have turned down the air conditioning. Do you think it will be easy to go to people and ask them to turn down the heaters or turn off the boilers?

Here we just have to hope for a quick transition.

Yes, but let’s not be under any illusions, a transition based solely on renewable energy is impossible. We also need to put some nuclear power into it. See, you never forget one thing: if we are in this situation today, it is because we have been pursuing environmental policies for years and forget our dependence on Russia. And this is a mistake, even a serious mistake if you want to write it.

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