Saturday, January 22

The north and south of Europe collide again due to the rise in electricity prices



The energy crisis caused by the rise in gas prices is not resolved and the solutions proposed by the European Commission continue to confront the Twenty-seven. Still, the energy ministers of the EU They will try again this Thursday to approach positions during a meeting in Brussels. On the table two different paths to follow: the one they pose Germany and eight other countries Northern Europe, opposed to intervening in price setting and market reform, and the one they defend Spain and some southern countries such as France and Italy, in favor of opening an in-depth reflection on the reform of the electricity and gas market to introduce changes that benefit both operators and consumers.

“The reasonable thing, despite the fact that today we are in two very different positions, is that the position of those who think that change decisions have to be made should be approached with respect and that it is not concentrated on a message that is important but immobility, which is to verify that all operators behave in accordance with the market and European regulation. I think that no one had doubts about the behavior, “said the vice president and minister of ecological transition upon arrival at the meeting. Teresa Ribera, which regrets that there are still a number of northern European countries that consider that to the extent that the energy crisis will not last long “it is best not to touch anything.”

As in previous meetings, both sides arrive at the meeting, the prelude to the debate that European leaders will foreseeably hold at the mid-December summit, with two statements in which they set out a radically different diagnosis and solutions, and which have not been moved not a millimeter since the meeting of heads of state and government last October. “We share the analysis of the Commission and ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators) that the causes of the current rise in prices derive from the global economic recovery and from a greater demand for fossil fuels and supply factors” , supports the declaration that signed by Austria, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Latvia and the Netherlands.

Nordic front

For northern European countries, the national measures mentioned by the European Commission in its October “toolbox” are adequate to combat the impact of rising prices in the short term and, although they consider an electricity market crucial function properly, they understand that reforming the price system would put the security of supply at risk, would increase the costs of integrating renewables into long-term power generation, and would fragment the electricity market because of the possibility of setting prices.

“We cannot support any measure that represents a departure from the principles of competition in the design of our gas and electricity market. Deviating from these principles would undermine a profitable decarbonisation of our energy system, put its profitability at risk and threaten the security of supply ”, they warn in a statement prior to the meeting this Thursday in which they defend seeking solutions in the existing regulatory framework.

In-depth review

Just the opposite they claim Spain, France and Italy, supported by Romania and Greece. “It is difficult to ignore the concern of governments that represent more than 45% of the European population. Of the 4 large countries, France, Italy, Spain and Germany, there are 3 that we demand that this be thoroughly analyzed ”, claimed the vice president upon arrival at the meeting. “The big question we ask ourselves is whether the current regulation is prepared to address challenges like the ones we are already experiencing. And therefore, we demand, with total openness, that it evolve to incorporate responses to these challenges by protecting consumers and reflecting the benefits of an enormously important and also enormously satisfactory energy transition for consumers. Nowadays, this advantage for consumers is moving away in favor of prices that do not reflect real costs ”, he added.

The five southern countries are calling for changes so that energy consumers “fully share the benefits of zero-emission technologies” while avoiding excessive volatility in natural gas markets. They also call for an adaptation of market regulation to revolve around renewables, the reinforcement of the protection of electricity consumers and the promotion of long-term contracts based on zero-emission energies, as well as measures to improve the functioning of the market. Of gas.


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