Brussels prepares new measures to tackle the crisis of high energy prices that will last until at least 2023 – El Periodico de la Energía

The European Commission is preparing a new toolbox to deal with high energy prices in the European Union. The concern in Brussels is growing as it foresees that the crisis of high prices will extend over time, at least until 2023.

According to a draft of this document to which the specialized portal in the EU, Euractiv, has had access, the Commission assumes that high prices will continue throughout this year. The main cause is the gas market, whose price has skyrocketed in recent months.

“Energy prices remain a major concern across the EU. High and volatile gas prices, strongly influenced by high global demand and growing geopolitical tensions, are driving high electricity prices,” the draft says.

According to the data presented in the document, wholesale gas prices are around 400% higher than a year ago and wholesale electricity prices have followed the same pattern, increasing by 260%. This has pushed up retail gas and electricity prices, which were up 51% and 30% respectively from last year.

This means that energy prices will continue to squeeze the European economy, even in full recovery from the pandemic. More inflation will be generated during this year and that will cause damage in the electro-intensive industry if measures are not taken.

Acceleration of permits for renewables

That is why Brussels proposes another 12 actions or measures that the Member States must take to face the crisis with better guarantees. Among its proposals, the Commission warns the 26 that the rate of installation of renewables is very low and that the processing of renewable parks must be accelerated.

It also advocates measures in favor of energy savings and tax measures to alleviate the damage to vulnerable and industrial consumers, the main affected.

But really where the Commission wants to get involved is in the gas market. On the one hand, it is investigating the Russian Gazprom in case it has engaged in anti-competitive practices that have affected European markets.

It wants to reduce dependence on Russian gas and to do so invites its member states to buy more LNG in other markets, even if that means higher prices. In short, it intends to put pressure on Russia to defuse the crisis with Ukraine.

On the other hand, it is going to force the Member States to do their job during the year with gas purchases in such a way that in September there are sufficient levels of gas stored to withstand the winter, and not as has happened this anus.

Something that has also drawn attention is that from Brussels they continue to see the CO2 rights market well. That the price has skyrocketed is not the reason why electricity prices have become more expensive. For Brussels, gas is the main cause, therefore no movement is foreseen to reform this emissions market.

This Monday, the Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, visits Madrid and will meet with the Third Vice President of the Government, Teresa Ribera. According to El País, Brussels has now decided to study the government’s proposals to deal with the price crisis. The government’s proposal, which has already been rejected, to create a pay as bid market, with the average prices of each technology, will be studied. Another thing is that it is approved.

It should be remembered that ACER has already informed the European Commission in a preliminary manner that this new market model would be counterproductive to the interests of consumers. The ACER report will be known in the month of April.

This document with the 12 actions is scheduled to be approved next March.

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