The Third Vice President and Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Theresa Riverahas made a “positive” assessment of the so-called ‘Iberian exception’, barely a week after the measure to cap the price of natural gas to generate electricity came into force, and has defended that “it shows that it works”, since It has lowered the price of between 25 and 30 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) for consumers of the regulated tariff, with respect to the price that would have been given without the existence of the mechanism.
In an informative meeting organized by the New Economy Forum, Ribera valued the operation of the mechanism, despite an “extraordinarily difficult context and under exceptional conditions”, due to an “unprecedented” heat wave which has led to an increase in demand and a drop in the production of renewables (wind and photovoltaic), which was joined by a reduction in Gazprom’s gas exports to Europe.
Despite all this, the minister considered that a “very important” difference has been seen between the price of the wholesale electricity market in the rest of the European countries with respect to Spain and Portugal, including even the compensation of gas, which has allowed a price per megawatt hour (MWh) between 25 and 30 euros lower than it would have been without the mechanism.
“It shows that it works and allows us to think about those reforms that invite us to think about signing long-term contracts for the industry, but also about a review of the regulated rate with different components,” he said.
On the other hand, Ribera assured that it is “fundamental” that Brussels “takes seriously” the issue of the interconnections of the Iberian Peninsula with Europe, since “no good has a physical and objective limitation of less than 3% as it happens with electricity”.
Thus, with electrical interconnection currently at 2.8% capacity, he estimated that it is far from the objectives set of at least 10% that should have been achieved in 2020 and at least 15% by 2030.
In addition, he pointed out that the electricity interconnection project between the Basque Country and France through the Bay of Biscay already has a “precise timetable”, after resolving the technical difficulties that had caused delays in its development, and that it will allow the exchange capacity between the two to be doubled. countries.
Regarding the increase in French electricity exports from Spain since the entry into force of the ‘Iberian leave of absence’, Ribera asked to be “congruent”, since if “we need more Europe and we want more interconnection and internal market, we cannot say otherwise”.
In this regard, he pointed out that France is “living a terrible situation” due, in addition to the heat wave last week, to the shutdown of part of its nuclear park due to security issues, which has led the country to “import electricity from where it is exported”.
Thus, he warned that a situation of “real and objective tension” is being experienced in Europe, with a threat of total cutoff of the natural gas supply from Russia, for which a response is necessary that “ensures responsibility and solidarity”.
In this sense, he pointed out that Spain is “so lucky” not to have to think “of going back” to guarantee its energy supply, as is happening in other countries such as Germany or Denmark, that “it is striking that we are not all relieved.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism