The EU has to review its approach to energy in light of the recent events in Ukraine, with the continent facing an 'uncomfortable' truth of the need to forsake Russian fuels, the European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said Thursday.
Simson, who spoke during the Gas Infrastructure Europe annual conference in Hungary's capital city Budapest, said as long as Europe relies on Russian energy, it will not be fully in control of its energy future, which needs to change.
'This is not a new priority, but it's a new sense of urgency,' Simson warned.
She called on European countries to show a united front to achieve common goals to achieve better energy direction.
Currently, the European Parliament and the Council are working to ensure the adoption of an urgent plan in the summer so storage can be at full capacity before the heating season.
Simson recommended the filling of Europe's gas storage capacity to at least 80%, and up to around 90% by next winter.
A new European Commission plan on repowering the EU is due in May, covering increased investments in renewable energy and hydrogen and energy efficiency.
Speaking during the same session, Gas Infrastructure Europe's President Torben Brabo also echoed the need for Europe to prepare for next winter.
'After COVID and high energy prices, today's challenge is the security of supply. So far, we took it for granted because gas was there. Now, it is our duty to the European community to provide new solutions,' he said.
By Murat Temizer in Budapest