The French president, Emmanuel Macron, said this Monday that new gas interconnections with Spain are not necessary because the current ones are far from saturation, and added that the MidCat gas pipeline project —which would transport gas from Portugal and Spain to the rest of Europe, via France – is not justified for energy or environmental reasons. France has always opposed the project of a new gas pipeline with Spain but a week ago it opened to examine that possibility after being asked by the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz.
The Government requests that the gas pipeline between Spain and France be financed by European partners
Macron, during a press conference on energy, explained that the two gas pipelines that currently link the two countries, through Euskadi and Navarra, are “underutilized”, since they have been used at 53% since February and he has said that in August it has been France which has exported gas to Spain and not the other way around.
Instead, he has been in favor of “developing electrical connections with Spain” for the export to Europe of energy produced from renewable sources, as he pointed out after a conversation with the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, about the energy situation in Europe .
Given the words of the French president, sources from the Ministry of Ecological Transition have stressed that “Spain is committed to increasing its interconnections with the rest of the EU, promoting solidarity between the different states, making its infrastructures available to increase the security of supply community and thinking about the future channeling of hydrogen and renewable gases that is already contemplated in the EU plans”.
In the opinion of the Ministry headed by Teresa Ribera, the construction of the new gas pipeline does not depend only on France. “It is an issue that affects all member states and European institutions. An issue that must be carefully analyzed by the 27. For this reason, we are working to maximize our strategic autonomy; we cannot return to situations of vulnerability in the face of Putin’s continued and future blackmail,” they add.
By creating this new energy connection, “the anticipation of a hydrogen corridor would be achieved that will contribute to meeting the medium and long-term objectives and also in the short term to reduce energy dependence”, as explained in Ecological Transition.
Macron calls for “European solidarity” for the stoppage of its reactors
The French president has also stated that they need “European solidarity with electricity”, because more than half of the country’s nuclear reactors are stopped for technical reasons.
Macron has been in favor of reforming the European electricity market so that prices are set “in a coherent way” and in line “with production prices”, as he said at a press conference.
He also pointed out that France is in favor of common gas purchases at European level and of setting ceilings on the price of Russian gas exported to Europe by gas pipeline.