BDEW: Today’s meeting of the EU Energy Council of Ministers:
Meeting of European Energy Ministers lacks impulses for internal energy market
Step-by-step harmonisation of support schemes for renewable energies necessary
“The EU energy ministers today stressed how important the completion of the European internal energy market is, however, they failed to call more clearly for a prompt end to the de facto state regulation of energy prices which still exists, for example, in several EU Member States. This is regrettable as the completion of the European internal market would be a significant factor in ensuring that the supply of energy remains affordable for citizens and for industry in future”, said Hildegard Müller in Berlin in relation to today’s meeting of the EU Energy Council of Ministers in Luxembourg.
“Unfortunately, electricity and gas prices in some EU Member States are still regulated by a state ordered cap and thus not subject to market condi-tions”, criticised Müller. The market concentration is, according to BDEW information, still extremely high in some Member States. For example, the market share of the largest electricity producer in some EU states is still way over 70 or even 80 percent (Germany: 28 percent). A further exam-ple: a single provider dominates the market for natural gas distribution in many EU states with market shares of between 50 and 100 percent (Ger-many: 9 percent).
Müller also pointed out that the introduction of national capacity mecha-nisms, as discussed in a number of European States, also runs counter to the aim of creating an integrated European internal market for energy. “Capacity mechanisms may not be allowed to lead to a situation whereby national markets are walled off or disadvantages are suffered by neighbouring countries. In the interests of a functioning internal market, cross-border solutions should always take precedence over national inter-ventions.”
In this context, a discussion on the gradual harmonisation of the support schemes for renewable energies in the EU is now necessary, according to Müller. “Scientific studies have proved that there is considerable potential for savings for consumers in this respect. In the medium to long term, the specific, non-location dependent support for individual technologies should be separated from the cost-efficient development of the potential of re-newables at the most suitable locations in Europe. A sustainable, function-ing and affordable provision of energy in Europe will ultimately require re-newable energies to be gradually detached from the existing subsidy sys-tems and integrated into the market.”