Spain’s underground gas storages are at 78% of their capacity, so they almost double Brussels’ recommendation to have them at least 40% at the beginning of the spring in order to have a more relaxed position of towards next winter.
According to data from the sector association Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE), the three warehouses in the state – Serrablo (Husca), Gaviota (Biscay) and Yela (Guadalajara) – had 27.6 terawatt hours as of March 20 (TWh), 78.2% of the total capacity, equivalent to the national consumption of 29 days in winter.
A year ago, when Brussels was already starting to warn of the need to start filling gas reserves for the winter, Spain had a filling volume of 58%, with 19.9 TWh. Brussels’ decision to rapidly increase gas reserves caused the price of this raw material to reach historic highs last summer, surpassing 300 euros per megawatt hour (MWh).
Nevertheless, both in March 2022 and now, Spain has always had its warehouses at levels well above the European average, thanks to the diversification of suppliers – led mainly by the United States – and the increase in purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
In the case of the European Union, reserves are on average at 55.8%, with a volume of stored natural gas reaching 626.5 TWh, more than double what it was a year ago, when Europe had only one quarter of its full reserves (25.8%), with 286.9 TWh. Spain is one of the most compliant member states of the EU, and the goal for next winter is even more ambitious than this year’s.