Business & Economy

Socialist MEP calls for greater homogeneity in EU electricity market

Madrid, Jun 15 (EFE).- The Socialist MEP and speaker for electricity market reform, Nicolás González Casares, believes that the European Union (EU) must move towards greater homogeneity and incorporate instruments to act in future crises since those proposed by the European Commission (EC) are insufficient and can create differences.

González Casares, who spoke Thursday in a new edition of EFE Forum on the “Reform of the European electricity market: a step forward towards a more community-oriented Europe,” said that the Commission’s proposal to reform the electricity market is derived from the recent price crisis.

He pointed out that the EC had to take emergency measures, which avoided recession in many countries, although not in the entire Eurozone, contributed to lowering inflation, and ensured electricity supply.

However, these emergency measures were adopted without the necessary debate and have been different among the member countries, according to González Casares, who understands that this is why the reform of the electricity market is necessary to adapt the current regulation.

In his opinion, the EC proposal that the European Parliament (EP) is working on is good, as it strengthens forward markets, forward power purchase agreements (PPA), and contracts for difference (CfD).

However, he believes that PPAs should be made more transparent and their availability should be enhanced. The Spanish socialist party is more concerned about the costs than the destination of the benefits obtained from CfDs.

González Casares sees vagueness in other aspects of the EC proposal, such as the tools for dealing with the crisis, since they are based on state aid.

For the MEP, not everything can be entrusted to the financial capacity of each member state, as this destabilizes the internal market. He also said that at the moment there is a desire to cut spending by European states after the pandemic, which reduces their capacity to provide state aid.

In this sense, he believes that the proposed instruments are insufficient and create differences.

Furthermore, he considers that there should be more homogeneity and less heterogeneity in price ceilings for infra-marginal energies (hydro, nuclear, renewables).

He defended the need for a stable “crisis-proof” framework, especially for consumers, who must have the certainty to invest in electrifying their homes and transport.

He also considers that the reform of the electricity market must give assurances to vulnerable consumers and those in energy poverty (some 40 million people in the EU) that minimum electricity consumption will not be withdrawn in the event of non-payment.

Regarding the capacity mechanisms to guarantee the availability of technologies to support renewables, he indicated that what they have proposed in the European Parliament is that they should not be tools of last resort, but that “they should be in the arsenal of the member states” for when they are needed.

With respect to the timetable for approving the electricity market reform, he said that he sees it possible to present it at the EP’s first plenary session in September, and to begin negotiations with the Council and the European Commission so that it can be finished by the end of the year, as the groups are showing a “firm commitment.” EFE


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