Wednesday, December 1

The Spanish Government proposes that the EU intervene in the electricity market and set a limit price for natural gas


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The Government continues its offensive to get the European Commission to agree to take “exceptional measures” in the electricity market and today submitted a proposal to the extraordinary Council of Energy Ministers meeting in Luxembourg and that according to official sources was prepared yesterday. This council is not attended by the vice president and minister of the branch, Teresas Ribera, but is replaced by the Secretary of State for Energy, Sara Aagesen Muñoz, who has to face the opposition of nine countries, led by Germany, which have signed a letter saying exactly the opposite, that they are not in favor of interfering in the market. The fact that the minister does not participate in person greatly weakens the position defended by Spain. Officially, Teresa Ribera had to approve concrete measures in Madrid to try to help consumers most vulnerable.

The Energy Commissioner, Kadri Simson, said at her entrance that they will study all the proposals and the different opinions of the countries, but completely ruled out any abrupt decision that could intervene in the short term.

The “non paper”, as this type of proposal is known in the EU, sent by Spain at the last minute raises the possibility of decoupling prices from the electricity market and set a limit price for natural gas. “In exceptional situations, Member States must be allowed to adapt the formation of the price of electricity to their specific situations,” says the text, referring to the energy mix of each country, its resources and the level of its interconnections with other countries , which in the case of Spain are limited to Portugal.

The Spanish plan proposes that due to “extraordinary circumstances”, instead of the pure marginal price signal (contaminated by spikes in gas prices), the price of electricity would be obtained as an average price with reference to the cost of “infra-marginal” clean technologies (particularly renewables). The Commission maintains that this would mean delaying the transition to renewable energy and lengthening dependence on external suppliers.

‘No’ to an ‘ad hoc’ market

The joint letter of Germany, Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia and the Netherlands states, on the contrary, that the governments of these countries “We cannot support any measure that conflicts with the internal gas and electricity market, for example an ‘ad hoc’ reform of the wholesale electricity market”. Commissioner Simson said when entering the meeting that she expected to hear the proposals of all the ministers, but that what they were talking about is “medium-term measures, which also means that we must start acting now, because the results will be seen. In the next few years, we are not talking about weeks or months. ‘

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