“Here are our proposals to improve the energy market”


BRUSSELS – Italy, together with France, Spain, Greece and Romania, has submitted to the EU Energy Council, underway in Brussels, a joint declaration (a “non paper” in EU jargon) which opens the discussion on possible changes the Community directive on the electricity market, and in particular the current pricing mechanism which is based on the ‘marginal price’ of gas. The Italian Minister of Ecological Transition spoke about it Roberto Cingolani, responding to reporters on the sidelines of the Council meeting.

The “non paper” calls for a review of this regulatory mechanism (in Articles 5 and 9 of the directive), in order to ensure that the end user pays a price that truly reflects the costs of the different sources used to produce the electricity he consumes. The countries of Northern Europe, however, oppose these changes, arguing in essence that the current mechanism (which actually rewards renewables, because it charges the electricity they produce at the same price as gas) works well, and that the price increases in recent months are only temporary and contingent and will return to decline in 2022.

Speaking to reporters, Cingolani specified that «none of us entered this discussion with our elbows out, we really tried to put arguments on the table. So – he explained -, if I determine the price of the electricity in the bill starting from the quotation given the last minute of the day before to the most expensive carrier, which in this case is gas, it is obvious that I get a higher bill. heavy. But this is not done to spite; it is made because it serves, for example, to allow investments in other forms of energy, so it has its own market rationality ».

And then this mechanism, continued Cingolani, «was done in a not so crisis moment, when gas didn’t cost so much. So, one hypothesis is to say: can we discuss, revise this method? We could also work on an average value calculated on the various sources, gas, hydroelectricity and more ».

«But – added the minister – these are points for discussion that Italy with France, Spain and Greece has put on the table with this ‘non paper’ in order to stimulate discussion; just as our fellow continental Germans, Austrians, from the northern countries said: ‘But no, we think we can stay like this because you will see that in a few months the price of gas will go down’. Let’s say it is a healthy and constructive discussion ».

Cingolani underlined that on this “the next few months will be fundamental: the ACER (the EU Agency for the cooperation between energy regulators, ed) will deliver its final report between April and May” on the rise in energy prices and on the current structure of the wholesale electricity market (the Agency presented a preliminary version of the report to the Energy Council today).

«So – he pointed out – we have plenty of time to close this picture, seeing among other things whether the gas actually goes down or not. It is clear that we hope it will go down; however, the problem is not solved if it goes down and then back up: it must be solved structurally, and this reasoning in these ministerial meetings serves this purpose. It is obvious that they are complicated, we are 27 states with completely different energy and technological histories; we are the second European manufacturer, and certain problems are heavier for us than for others ».

And then, the minister continued, “there are states that produce coal and make their own electricity with coal at home: it is obvious that they pay little for energy. But they will have to make the transition, in a while. So each of us has a problem: we must find a compromise that allows everyone – concluded Cingolani – to make the transition in a sustainable way ».


Source: RSS DiariodelWeb.it Economia by www.diariodelweb.it.

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