By the hair. RD Law 17/2021 on measures Urgent efforts to mitigate the impact of the gas price escalation on the electricity bill goes ahead thanks to the abstention of ERC, which until the last minute assured that it was going to vote no, and PNV. However, it will not be a Proposition of Law but only a Royal Decree and the text will remain as it is.

In return, the third vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, has assured that there will be changes in the regulations, without specifying how. Specifically, you said that government does not want to apply the cut of extraordinary benefits to the utilities by the escalation of prices in the gas when they supply energy to the industries to “reasonable prices”.

Specifically, it has stated that the objective is not to apply this cut to “those who guarantee ‘ex-novo’ stable prices who do not internalize the evolution of the price of gas”, in order to “promote the coverage of reasonable prices for the industry.”

Earlier, the vice president announced her intention to “complete” this crash plan “in the coming weeks” with “additional measures that guarantee coverage with bilateral contracts and reasonable prices for industrial consumers“and also” strengthen the position “of those vulnerable consumers benefiting from the social bonus.

Likewise, Ribera has stressed that “the September forecasts (when this decree law was approved) have been outdated”, something that “forces us to review measures already adopted” and “adapt them”.

Industry protection

A decision made in extremis after the warning from the Basque parliamentary group when Aitor Esteban warned President Pedro Sánchez on Wednesday that in this crisis “the future of the economy is at stake, but also that of his government.”

The PNV spokesman spoke of “tweaking” the decree law in the face of the risk of an industrial strike. “We are concerned about the part of the reduction in the remuneration of the electricity companies,” he said. Idoia Sagastizábal, PNV Energy spokesperson during the plenary session. “But because of the impact it has on the industry.”

“RD Law 17/2021 affects electricity companies but also consumers who have signed PPAs or long-term bilateral contracts, such as the industry, who are seeing how their production has to stop.”

An approach that coincides with that of the spokesperson for Energía de Ciudadanos, Mari Carmen Martínez“The marginalist system cannot be dismantled through the back door, because it has negative consequences for the industry of our country, penalizing its production and renewables as collateral damage.”

“We see with helplessness how the profits of the electricity companies continue to grow, the revolving doors continue to work, as is the recent case of the socialist Antonio Carmona,” he said. Joan Capdevila, ERC Energy spokesperson.

“We are not going to support the RDL so that the government knows that it cannot continue to operate as if it had an absolute majority, there has been no negotiation with the groups,” say sources from PdCat. “We are going to request the processing as a Bill: you can do marketing, but when you are governing you also have to evaluate the consequences of the measures that are taken, you cannot act only in the face of public opinion and in the short term “.

Temporary nature

The minister has also underlined the temporary nature of this measure, until next March 31. And that the cut is proportional to the price of gas and that, in any case, it does not apply to those cases in which the extra cost of natural gas has not been internalized in its energy sales, nor to whom “has guaranteed stable prices before the climb “.

The rising cost of gas in international markets “cannot be translated into an increase in all electricity,” he said, so he believes that maintaining the current marginal market “is not viable” in a situation of this type that lasts over time.

“Especially when the real costs of generation do not correspond to the increase in average prices of the system,” Ribera explained.

Government estimates show that each increase in the price of gas by 1 euro / MWh means 2 euros / MWh more in the wholesale markets, and all this regardless of “how much cheap energy” was in the pool, due to the operation of this model.

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