Wednesday, April 17

Ribera defends the gas cap to prevent other plants from taking advantage of high prices


Minister Teresa Ribera, this Wednesday in Congress. / RC / PE

The Minister for the Ecological Transition points out that most technologies increase their profits “enormously” in the current market

The Third Vice President of the Government and Minister of Ecological Transition and for the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, has defended in Congress the agreement reached with Brussels to limit the price of gas to 50 euros/MWh and the need to prevent other generation technologies electricity (wind, solar, hydroelectric or nuclear, among others) receive “many compensations” due to the operation of the wholesale market, which means that they increase “enormously their profits”.

Ribera has reaffirmed his consideration that the electricity market “is broken” and has emphasized that the costs of the different technologies “have not changed at all”, except for natural gas. “It is logical that we pay for natural gas at the price of natural gas and that we avoid many other compensations for the rest of the technologies that see their benefits increase enormously,” said the minister in response to a question from the Popular Party deputy Guillermo Mariscal about who will pay the difference between the stipulated gas cap and its real market cost.

Ribera has also highlighted that in the current situation of the energy market there is a “regulatory problem” that requires the support of Europe and also a national response, in which he has framed the Royal Decree-law of the National Plan of response to the war in Ukraine , whose validation or repeal will be debated this Thursday in Congress.

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For his part, Mariscal has defended lowering the VAT on the electricity bill to 5%, that of gas to 5%, the tax on hydrocarbons “to the minimum allowed by the EU”, creating an “annual fee for vulnerable consumers” to avoid that are affected by fluctuations in the electricity markets and subsidize 25% of CO2 emissions to industry. In this sense, the Government has extended until June 30 the current tax reductions on electricity, the additional discounts of the social bond and the aid for industrial consumers. The current tax cuts involve a reduction in VAT from 21% to 10%, the suspension of the tax on generation from 7% and the reduction of the special electricity tax from 5.11% to the legal minimum of 0.5% until the next 30 of June.

On the other hand, Mariscal has argued that with the cap on gas there will be “a difference in electricity prices between France and Spain that will make Spanish consumers subsidize the French for at least one year about 1,000 million euros.”

That was one of the fears of the European partners when authorizing the ‘Iberian exception’ for the price of gas. In principle, and pending the details of the decree that the Government will approve next Tuesday, there will be two daily auctions: one joint with the rest of Europe, and another exclusive for Spain and Portugal with the price of gas capped.


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