EU Commission toolbox of measures to deal with excessive power costs

The European Commission proposed on October 13 a package deal of measures to assist protect European shoppers from the storm of rising power costs.

The Commission mentioned it adopted a Communication on Energy Prices, to deal with the distinctive rise in world power costs, which is projected to final by way of the winter, and assist Europe’s folks and companies.

The Communication features a “toolbox” that the EU and its Member States can use to handle the rapid influence of present costs will increase, and additional strengthen resilience in opposition to future shocks, the Commission mentioned, including that short-term nationwide measures embrace emergency revenue help to households, state support for corporations, and focused tax reductions.

The Commission can even help investments in renewable power and power effectivity; look at attainable measures on power storage and buying of fuel reserves; and assess the present electrical energy market design.

“Rising global energy prices are a serious concern for the EU,” Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson mentioned presenting the toolbox. “As we emerge from the pandemic and begin our economic recovery, it is important to protect vulnerable consumers and support European companies,” she added.

Simson famous that the Commission helps Member States to take rapid measures to scale back the influence on households and companies this winter. “At the same time, we identify other medium-term measures to ensure that our energy system is more resilient and more flexible to withstand any future volatility throughout the transition. The current situation is exceptional, and the internal energy market has served us well for the past 20 years. But we need to be sure that it continues to do so in the future, delivering on the European Green Deal, boosting our energy independence and meeting our climate goals,” she mentioned.

The Commission pressured that the present worth spike requires a speedy and coordinated response. The current authorized framework allows the EU and its Member States to take motion to handle the rapid impacts on shoppers and companies, it mentioned.

“Priority should be given to targeted measures that can rapidly mitigate the impact of price rises for vulnerable consumers and small businesses. These measures should be easily adjustable in the Spring, when the situation is expected to stabilise. Our long-term transition and investments in cleaner energy sources should not be disrupted,” the Commission mentioned in a press launch.

The Commission famous that rapid measures are wanted to guard shoppers and companies. It mentioned member states ought to present emergency revenue help for energy-poor shoppers, for instance by way of vouchers or partial invoice funds, which will be supported with EU ETS revenues, authorise non permanent deferrals of invoice funds,

Put in place safeguards to keep away from disconnections from the grid, present non permanent, focused reductions in taxation charges for weak households, present support to corporations or industries, in keeping with EU state support rules, improve worldwide power outreach to make sure the transparency, liquidity and adaptability of worldwide markets, examine attainable anti-competitive behaviour within the power market and ask the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to additional improve monitoring of developments within the carbon market, and facilitate a wider entry to renewable energy buy agreements and help them through flanking measures

According to the Commission, the clear power transition is one of the best insurance coverage in opposition to worth shocks sooner or later and must be accelerated. “The EU will proceed to develop an environment friendly power system with excessive share of renewable power. While cheaper renewables play an growing position in supplying the electrical energy grid and setting the value, different power sources, together with fuel, are nonetheless required in occasions of upper demand. Under the present market design fuel nonetheless units the general electrical energy worth when it’s deployed as all producers obtain the identical worth for a similar product when it enters the grid – electrical energy, the Commission mentioned.

“There is general consensus that the current marginal pricing model is the most efficient one, but further analysis is warranted. The crisis has also drawn attention to the importance of storage for the functioning of the EU gas market. The EU currently has storage capacity for more than 20% of its annual gas use, but not all Member States have storage facilities and their use and obligations to maintain them vary,” it added.

The Commission additionally known as for medium-term measures for a decarbonised and resilient power system. Member states ought to step up investments in renewables, renovations and power effectivity and pace up renewables auctions and allowing processes, develop power storage capability, to help the evolving renewables share, together with batteries and hydrogen, ask European power regulators (ACER) to check the advantages and disadvantages of the present electrical energy market design and suggest suggestions to the Commission the place related, think about revising the safety of provide regulation to make sure a greater use and functioning of fuel storage in Europe, discover the potential advantages of voluntary joint procurement by Member States of fuel shares, arrange new cross-border regional fuel danger teams to analyse dangers and advise Member States on the design of their nationwide preventive and emergency motion plans, enhance the position of shoppers within the power market, by empowering them to decide on and alter suppliers, generate their very own electrical energy, and be a part of power communities.

The measures set out within the toolbox will assist to offer a well timed response to the present power worth spikes, that are the consequence of an distinctive world state of affairs. They can even contribute to an inexpensive, simply and sustainable power transition for Europe, and higher power independence. Investments in renewable power and power effectivity is not going to solely cut back dependence on imported fossil fuels, but additionally present extra inexpensive wholesale power costs which might be extra resilient to world provide constraints. The clear power transition is one of the best insurance coverage in opposition to worth shocks like this within the sooner or later, and must be accelerated, additionally for the sake of the local weather.

BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, welcomed the Commission’s toolbox of measures to deal with the influence of excessive power costs.

“We’ve seen staggering increases in energy prices recently,” BEUC Director General Monique Goyens mentioned. “As we head into winter and start to spend more on heating our homes, it’s consumers who are in the eye of the storm, having to pick up the bill for market forces totally beyond their control. This comes on the back of the COVID-19 crisis which has caused financial difficulties for many consumers and when 10% of people in the EU are already in energy poverty,” she mentioned, including that the European Commission has heard shopper teams’ issues and has come ahead with some formidable proposals.

“The Commission has issued strong, consumer-centric recommendations. Now we need to see urgent action from national governments to follow through on this ambition, implement these measures and protect consumers from these rapid price rises. Looking ahead, we need to depart from our energy dependency on fossil fuels and the volatile global markets that expose consumers to price spikes. There is no better way to do that than to accelerate the shift to renewables,” Goyens mentioned, including that policy-makers ought to speed up this shift. Only it will assure each inexpensive power to European shoppers and reductions in carbon emissions.

Simson will current the Communication and toolbox to Members of the European Parliament on October 14 and to Energy Ministers on October 26. European Leaders are then as a consequence of focus on power costs on the upcoming European Council on October 21-22.

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