The center and northern Europe again block the energy demands of Spain

They put it in writing in the month of October and do it again now. Nine countries, headed by Germany and the Netherlands, have distributed a joint venture th

The center and northern Europe again block the energy demands of Spain

They put it in writing in the month of October and do it again now. Nine countries, headed by Germany and the Netherlands, have distributed a joint venture this Wednesday by setting a common position and charging against the measures that Spain has been proposing to fight against the increase in electricity price.

The Misiva arrives on the eve of a very expected Energy Council and in which the Ministers of the Branch will resume where they left him a few weeks ago, to prepare the last Summit of Heads of State and Government, which will take place in Brussels a mediated month. All take positions and debate passes from the halls to public opinion. As the last time happened too, Spain has not been silent. Together with France, Italy, Greece and Romania has published its own joint declaration by betting on very specific changes in legislation. Non-theoretical debates, but concrete articles.

A few months ago Moncloa hoped to take advantage of the moment that had been generated throughout the continent to advance "bold" measures, but has not been the case. President Pedro Sánchez fought in the last European Council and achieved two things: to keep alive the discussion and promise that community organizations would investigate their complaints about the functioning of the market, volatility and possible manipulations. After a few weeks, and with the coronavirus again as main concern and political obsession, there is no longer the pressure that was then and the Suflé has been deflated. "Some things that seemed like they could leave have not flown," explain diplomatic sources. And they will not do it. The Commission and its agencies have a firm position and there is no remote majority in the Council for a thorough battle.

The thesis of the nine, with Ireland, Luxembourg, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Estonia and Lithuania, collides with those of Pedro Sánchez in all: diagnosis, analysis and proposals. To begin, at the reasons of the rise. "We share the analysis of the European Commission and Acer with respect to the causes of the current price rise, which are mainly in the encouraging global economic recovery and additional factors of supply and demand for fossil fuels," says the document in Reference to the evaluation of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (Acer), which recently published a forceful opinion by disassembling one by a Spanish demands.

The answer was immediate. Spain, together with its allies, returned the blow in the same way, through another document (Non Paper in the Community Argot) maintaining its position and advocating and demanding legislative changes. Specifically, the five propose to amend articles 5 and 9 of the electricity directive to "allow Member States to apply regulatory mechanisms, designed at European level, to ensure that" final consumers pay a price for electricity that reflects costs of the Mix used for his own consumption "and that governments have more margin of action.

The nine countries, as well as the institutions, believe that the market works well. That there is undoubtedly a crisis, which prices are fired and is worrisome, but that the solution does not go by modifying the rules, nor in depth or ad hoc for some countries to adapt them, as they asked for Spain. And that the problem is not in manipulation, neither in the system nor in the short-term emission market, the best way to address the price increase is through temporary national and specific national actions of the Member States, where appropriate, To protect consumers and vulnerable companies, "signers say using the language used repeatedly by Brussels.

The southern know that the short-term battle is very complicated, because they have no strength to propose changes, and their rivals in this dispute want to maintain the status quo. That is why they put in the target also the medium term, 2030, when the weight of the renewables will be greater. For this they want an in-depth reform and, as an intermediate step, an evaluation in no more than six months to see how we must think about the market of the future. In addition, they urge to change Article 11 of the same directive to warn consumers of the risks of dynamic pricing contracts, which, consider, seem to be encouraged with the current wording. And to consider novel possibilities, such as the obligation that sellers offer at least one catalog a more conservative option than "protecting the sudden variations in prices.

The letter from the center and northern Europe, as a very similar one that the same countries and some more wrote in October before another meeting of energy ministers, tries to make Madrid, Paris, Greece or Bucharest who are not willing to Open the Pandora box. The risks of worsening what there are are much greater than the possible benefits of putting hand, they explain. "We can not support any action that represents a deviation from the competitive principles of our gas and electricity market design. Deviating from these principles would undermine the decarbonization of our energy system, would endanger the affordability and put the safety of supply." , They warn.

The main attack on the Charter, which sets a position to prevent the Council from becoming a battle, is precisely against one of the most aggressive measures claimed by the most affected countries. And that is what the Vice President Ribera will be within a few hours. Echoing the analysis of the European Regulators Agency, the nine claim that proposals for alternative market design, such as "maximum prices or medium prices dependent on technology based on the national MIX", which is what they come to ask for In Madrid, "they suppose a serious risk", as they put "endangering the security of supply, since with a price regulation it is possible that a large number of market participants can not recover their investment costs over time, which justifies market exit decisions and discourage new participants. "

In addition, they maintain, "would lead to increase the costs of the integration of long-term variable renewable energy generation, since there would be no sufficient market signals for the necessary flexibility options" and "I would undermine the integration of the European market of the Electricity, since the possibility that Member States apply their own concept of 'fair price' can discourage the electricity market, thus limiting the possibility that States mitigate price and system disturbances through trade with neighboring countries " .

The Solution, the signatories say with the clear support of the European Commission, is to have patience and national measures to mitigate the effects of the price rise, especially in the most vulnerable and affected groups and sectors. "As Acer already proposed, the final analysis, planned for April 2022, could look for more options within the existing market framework." That is the premise: nor change it, nor adapt it, or revolutionize it "boldly" as a ribera asks. "Measures should be aimed at reducing the risk of income from the generation of renewable electricity and improve the possibilities of coverage and market transparency," as well as ensure the protection of final consumers. And that, Zanjan, would not be achieved with the ideas of Moncloa.

From Madrid, Paris and Rome, resigned to the fact that there is no appetite to 27 for the Spanish proposal of a joint gas purchase, similar to the one that is made of oil, to minimize at the continental level volatility in times of crisis, offer another option , asking the European Commission to "explore a voluntary purchase mechanism" for those interested, trying to start with fewer partners and others can be added.

Updated Date: 01 December 2021, 21:03

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