“Today’s experience of rising energy prices is a clear wake-up call … of measures aimed at tackling the crisis,” a senior EU official told reporters at the European Commission unveiling a series of measures.
“Winter is coming and many electricians cost more than a decade,” Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson told reporters on Wednesday.
Wholesale gas prices – which have hit record highs in France, Spain, Germany and Italy – are expected to remain high through the winter. Prices are expected to decline in the spring, but remain above the average of previous years, according to the commission. According to Eurostat, most EU countries rely on gas-powered power stations to meet electricity demand, and about 40% of that gas comes from Russia.
Simson said the commission’s preliminary assessment indicates that Russia’s Gazprom is fulfilling its long-term contracts “while providing little or no additional supply”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that Russia had increased gas supplies to Europe to the maximum possible level under existing contracts, but could not exceed those limits. “We can say that Russia is fulfilling all contractual obligations,” he said.
EU states can take measures to help consumers and businesses deal with rising electricity costs, including emergency income support to help households pay their energy bills, state aid for companies and targeted taxes. deduction is included. Member states can also temporarily delay bill payments and implement procedures to ensure that no one is disconnected from the grid.
green energy solutions
The commission also published a series of long-term measures the bloc should consider to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and tackle energy price volatility.
“Our immediate priority is to protect Europe’s consumers, especially the most vulnerable,” Simson said. “Second, we want to make our energy system better prepared and more resilient, so we don’t have to face a similar situation in the future,” she said.
Simson said it would need to accelerate the green energy transition rather than slow it down. “We are not facing a rise in energy prices because of our climate policy or because renewable energy is expensive. We are facing it because fossil fuel prices are rising,” she continued.
“The only long-term remedy against demand shocks and price volatility is a transition to a green energy system.”
Simsson said she would propose a package of measures to EU leaders to decarbonize Europe’s gas and hydrogen markets by 2050. Other measures to improve energy market stability could include increasing gas storage capacity at the EU level and jointly buying gas.
— Katharina Krebs contributed reporting.
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