Brussels wants to avoid escalating prices with a reform of the electricity market and promote the expansion of renewable energies. Long-term contracts are also to be promoted, as is power generation from renewable energies and nuclear power.
According to the plans, the electricity producers should receive fixed purchase prices regardless of short-term price developments. The purchase prices could be secured by the state with guarantees. Electricity generation from fossil fuels such as coal and gas should not receive these guarantees. Instead, the expansion of renewable energies should be further promoted. Gas is also said to play a lesser role overall. The electricity price is currently calculated according to the last power plant that is required for the current demand. These are often expensive gas power plants.
The designs can still be revised. The plans must also be approved by the EU states and the European Parliament. States such as Spain, France and Austria have called for greater intervention to stabilize prices. Other countries, including Germany and Denmark, have warned against making too big changes to scare off investors.
Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) said that the proposals fell short of expectations. “There are small steps in the right direction – but the big leap is missing. Over the past year, we have repeatedly asked the Commission to ensure that high gas prices in Europe do not automatically drive up electricity prices. She has not found a solution for this today,” said the minister.
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