And seen the anger of the big electricity companies, it could be like that. For your employer, aelec, are “interventionist measures” and considers it very unfair to penalize to a sector absolutely committed to electrification and decarbonization.
Of these measures, there are two that could end up in court and they are those that point directly to the waterline of the large electricity companies, Iberdrola, Endesa, Naturgy and EDP.
The first is addressed to the ‘supervening retribution’ that is observed in the great electrical ones. “Those technologies that do not have to support the high prices of raw materials and are also not emitters, that is, nuclear, large hydro and renewable parks’a merchant‘They will be subject to this regulation, “says the Government.
Its objective is to reduce the income of these plants due to the high price of gas, and with current levels, some 2.6 billion until March 31, 2022.
The second is to create long-term electricity auctions and force these big companies to sell 15,830 GWh of its production (6.3% of the national electricity demand in 2020).
“The electricity companies are used to fighting in the courts with the State,” he explains to Invertia Maria de la Torre, legal expert in Governance and managing partner of Governance & Compliance. In fact, “it is inherent to their business, but they are businesses regulated by the BOE, with certain conditions, and what the Government has proposed, on this occasion, is not badly planned.”
In fact, Minister Ribera has defended that withholding extraordinary profits from electricity companies to make electricity cheaper is a mechanism “compatible” with European law.
Even so, the expert lawyer in Governance recognizes that “there are limits and it is certain that the legal teams of the electricity companies will look closely at the possible interference that may be committed. You cannot put your hand in a private company in any way,” he assures The lawyer.
It would not be the first time that the State lost a lawsuit against the electricity companies. 6 years ago, the Government, then of the PP, approved a hydraulic canon (retroactive to 2013) and now a Supreme Court ruling obliges return to companies 1,000 million. Another example is the cut to renewables (also retroactive to 2013) that caused countless lawsuits against the International Arbitration Courts for more than 9,950 million euros. But there are many more.
“Long legal battles always benefit those who raise them, because governments are alternate. Another thing is that the electricity companies have the capacity for self-regulation, and in the face of this political decision and the ‘bench penalty’ that these months ago, they do not want to add more fuel to the national clamor. ”
Goal accomplished, the light will go down
“You could only reduce the 2021 bill like that of 2018 if the Government touched the costs, and it has done so. Has reduced them by 96%. So yes, it will meet its objective, “he explains. Francisco Valverde, expert in the electricity market and consultant in the area of Renewables in Intelligent Energy Efficiency Solutions of the Mint Group.
“It is the most important part of the system, and as the wholesale curves are very flat in recent months, (it goes down very little only with photovoltaics), From now on, you will hardly notice a difference if it is consumed in the valley or peak period.“, Add.
The emergency measures of Teresa Ribera’s team can work. “If you reduce the tax burden and also all charges related to renewables, extra-peninsular costs, etc., the bills go out,” adds the expert.
The only thing that remains to be seen is what happens to electricity auctions. “It will be interesting to know if a private company can be forced to remove part of its production from the liberalized market, from the wholesale market, because the government decides,” concludes Valverde.