Sunday

14th Apr 2024

EU power price response 'uncoordinated', experts warn

  • High gas prices in Europe are driving up the price of electricity — forcing some government into action (Photo: EUobserver)
Listen to article

With electricity prices at record highs, some European governments have implemented national measures to protect their own domestic households and businesses.

But so far, these have been largely "uncoordinated and have prioritised national security over cooperation," think tank Bruegel warned in a paper published on Tuesday (6 September).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

This could "undermine the goal of calming energy markets," the authors write, adding that "cross-border electricity exchanges are the centrepieces of Europe's energy system."

In June, the Spanish government announced a subsidy scheme for gas and coal-fired power plants.

This has kept electricity bills comparatively low in the country, but since then, gas flows from Spain to France have been 30-percent lower than in the same period last year.

"While such policies may gain the support of voters, isolated power systems tend to result in higher prices for consumers who cannot benefit from cheap electricity from their neighbours," the study's authors, including Bruegel senior fellow Simone Tagliapietra, wrote.

The paper instead encourages member states to strike a "grand energy bargain" together to solve the crisis and not move alone. Power-sharing and bringing down demand should be central to such a plan, they write.

The European Commission is currently working on a plan to reform of the electricity market, but the plan is not ready yet.

Meanwhile, European energy ministers are set to meet in Prague on Friday. But, according to an EU diplomat speaking on the basis of anonymity, it is "unlikely" ministers there will agree on a single EU-wide plan.

EU plans 'emergency intervention' on electricity price

The EU is working on an "emergency intervention" plan to stem surging energy prices, which may require "structural reform of the electricity market" Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said.

Europe burned more gas for power despite crunch

Europe's energy supply from both hydro power and nuclear is down by double-digit percentages so far this year, despite the need to diversify from interrupted Russian gas supplies.

Von der Leyen unveils energy crisis plan ahead of key meeting

The new energy plan includes a mandatory target to reduce peak electricity consumption, a cap on excess revenues by renewables and nuclear firms, a solidarity mechanism to channel fossil fuel companies' profits to citizens, and a temporary state aid framework.

Opinion

This 'deregulation' lobbying now threatens EU economy

Next week's EU summit (17-18 April) will discuss the strategic agenda for the next five years. The current "competitiveness agenda" is to a large extent driven by a big lobbying campaign — so far, not well covered by the media.

Latest News

  1. UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'
  2. Belgium declares war on MEPs who took Russian 'cash'
  3. Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight
  4. Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation
  5. Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU
  6. China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world
  7. Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps
  8. Who did Russia pay? MEPs urge spies to give names

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us