The price of electricity: Spain was right | Economy

A man controls an electricity panel.
A man controls an electricity panel.JUAN CARLOS HIDALGO (EFE)

A light can be seen at the end of the dark tunnel in which the price of electricity has become. After six months of arm-wrestling discussion between the European partners. Faith it was time. With the proposals that the Commission formulated in its communication on Tuesday and the guidelines for this Friday from the European Council, the South has scored a good achievement.

Because these measures come to prove Spain, Italy and France right in the bulk of their stubborn —and so far unsuccessful— claims on the energy market: above all, in the urgency of making the electricity price system more flexible.

A system that prioritizes the marginal price of the most expensive energy source (now, gas) as a determinant of the final price per kilowatt, by attributing (and thus overpricing) the rest the same amount. That hindered setting limits on the bill to consumers. And it raffled off the option of taxing “profits that fell from heaven” (windfall benefits) to the electricity companies that saw their kilowatts (hydroelectric or amortized nuclear) produced at zero or almost zero cost paid at the highest price.

Spain always insisted on linking the question of price to supply problems, as cost factors. From the letter that the vice presidents Teresa Ribera and Nadia Calviño sent to Brussels on September 20. In it they cried out to “cushion” the effects of the increase in energy prices (gas) on electricity prices; they asked to stop the speculation of another inflationary component, the one that is practiced with the emission rights of CO2; and claimed the “centralized purchase” of gas from third countries. As a way to lower the cost of individual acquisitions, yes. And also as a mechanism to ensure reserves that guarantee sufficient periods of energy autonomy.

Here the baby has cried. It is true that the southern arguments in favor of reconsidering the rigidity of the market were slightly softening the opposing positions. Fiercely defended by Alemana —and her citythe Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson— among other partners, who, in addition to their greater resources, exhibit a better, multi-year and stable model of supply to end consumers.

We had to wait until the reserves are almost exhausted. That the supply hangs from the narrow arbitrary thread of the great supplier of central and eastern Europe, the autocratic warrior Vladimir Putin. And that, consequently, the plan to diversify supply sources and reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas (and oil) has been imposed.

He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.


Common purchases, price caps, reconsideration of the marginal market… this week’s energy decisions and guidelines constitute a revolution in the EU. Favorable.

Although it leaves unknowns pending: if it is officially recognized that the “profits from heaven” in the entire market of 27 are close to 200,000 million euros… and if they have been generated by taxpayers and States, who compensates them?

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