Response to EC options for immediate price mitigation measures
Eurelectric is firmly convinced that the implementation of the EU Green Deal and decarbonization objectives is the only way to combine affordability, energy resilience, and security of supply. Indeed, the energy transition will allow not only to reduce the European reliance on external fossil fuel suppliers but also contribute to make energy prices lower in the long run. RES & carbon-neutral sources are already the cheapest source of energy and they allow the diversification of our energy mix. Different starting points in terms of energy mix, economic situation and industrial activities as well as the commercial availability of key transition technologies require different pathways and levels of efforts across EU countries.
The current situation also draws attention on the urgent need for more energy
efficiency and proper contingency plans in case of significative/total disruption of gas supply from Russia.
Member States should take short-term emergency measures to moderate gas demand across key use sectors by implementing firm energy efficiency and saving measures. Efficiency policies should prioritize the socially more vulnerable parts of
society as the most effective strategy to reduce energy poverty.
Member States should have their contingency plans for security of supply ready for both gas and electricity markets. In addition, one should also assess whether the Gas SoS regulation should be further updated in light of the need for a rapid switch away from Russian gas imports and accelerated electrification.
In that context, electrification is undeniably the optimal solution to meet Europe’s decarbonization targets, but also ensure energy sovereignty, thanks to the expansion of renewable and carbon-neutral electricity solutions. The European power sector is committed to become fully carbon-neutral well before 2050.
Throughout this process, guarding investors’ confidence is crucial. Any distortive wholesale market intervention, like measures related to “windfall profits” or the introduction of price caps, risks jeopardizing trust in the EU integrated energy market, severely damaging the investment climate, and raising a set of complex legal issues as well as political stakes. They should therefore be avoided. Such measures would indeed deter the investments needed for the energy transition and could harm security of energy supply, therefore causing serious harm to other policy goals.
Eurelectric understands that Member States have legitimate reasons for being concerned about the current energy prices and that addressing this unprecedented situation involves difficult energy policy choices. However, spreading the allegation that the European energy market would not be well-performing sets a concerning precedent that can lead to the normalization of future unjustified market interventions. Especially in times of high energy price level and volatility for consumers, it is essential to properly address the question of energy affordability for customers, speed up energy efficiency measures and ensure the social acceptance of the energy transition.