The vice president of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera.

The Government finalizes measures to stop the sharp increase in the cost of electricity in 2021 and targets the income of the large nuclear and hydroelectric plants of the large energy groups that operate in the country.

The vice president of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, plans to bring a draft bill to the Council of Ministers on Tuesday to reduce the benefits that these plants are reaping due to the sharp increase in the cost of electricity in recent weeks.

For this increase is linked to the higher cost of CO2 emission rights in the European market, which ends up having an impact on the electricity generated by thermal power plants that have to incorporate this cost into their production processes. As it is a marginal market, the price at which these plants – which together account for 9% of the energy generated in the country – spend their offers with the market is the one paid to all the producers, and for this reason it is a huge benefit for ‘clean’ facilities.

However, Ribera’s plan involves differentiating within the category of clean producers and the measure that is being studied to reduce these extra benefits from CO2 would only affect the facilities prior to 2005. His argument is that the emission regime of CO2 rights was born in that year, and therefore the companies that invested afterwards already did so taking this factor into account.

Therefore, the measure will affect those prior to 2004. And what are they? Mainly, the large nuclear and hydroelectric plants owned by the large electric companies and some of the pioneering renewable facilities installed in the first years of the century.

The Government’s response to the sharp rise in the electricity bill comes after having insisted, actively and passively, that the operation of the electricity market is regulated by community regulations and that it was very difficult to intervene from Spain. However, the government sources consulted believe that this measure fits with the current market functioning model.

Its implementation will not be in any case so urgent and will be proposed as a preliminary bill, which makes a long period of parliamentary processing necessary. This tool, on the other hand, will reduce the litigation expected by the affected companies and which would have been greater in the case of its approval by decree.

By leaving out the vast majority of renewable energies, the measure does not affect the investment funds that invested in renewables in the country and that are resuming their activity in the heat of the public incentive programs that the ecological transition plans entail. Executive.

The Government justify the measure based on the need for the high price of electricity not to harm the recovery of the domestic and industrial economies after the scourge of the coronavirus.

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