EU Regulation 994/2010 (now repealed) was introduced to safeguard security of natural gas supply and since its adoption has been a key driver in facilitating cooperation between Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK. The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) was the designated Competent Authority responsible for the implementation of the measures set out in Regulation 994/2010.
Regulation 994/2010 was repealed in November 2017 and replaced with Regulation 2017/1938. CRU continues to be the Competent Authority for the purposes of the new Regulation and has been designated as such (Letter re. Designation pdf).
Similar to Regulation 994/2010, the new regulation places obligations on Member States to have a common approach to emergency planning and response with the establishment of Preventive Action Plans, Emergency Plans and Risk Assessment Plans. These plans will also include regional chapters to ensure a coordinated and pre-agreed approach to security of supply among Member States.
A key change in Regulation 2017/1938 is the introduction of a solidarity mechanism. Solidarity is a measure of last resort among Member States to ensure cooperation with more vulnerable Member States in the event of an extreme situation.
Ireland/UK/Northern Ireland Cooperation
The UK/Ireland Gas Emergency Planning Group was established to allow regional partners (Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK) progress the obligations imposed under EU Regulation 994/2010. The group includes representation from Government Departments in each jurisdiction and the electricity and gas sectors.
In addition, the All Island Gas and Electricity Emergencies Group was established with the aim of progressing all island emergency planning and response arrangements to ensure that there is cooperation and coordination of response in the event of an emergency.