The heads of the most important electricity companies in Spain, France and Italy —Iberdrola, Électricité de France (EDF) and Enel (Endesa’s main shareholder)— have called this Wednesday, on the eve of the fundamental summit of European leaders, to try to lower the price of energy, to impose a limit on the price of natural gas to stop the escalation of electricity. “We believe that we need a ceiling throughout the European Union so that gas prices return to at least pre-crisis price levels”, affirm Ignacio Sánchez Galán (Iberdrola), Jean-Bernard Lévy (EDF) and Francesco Starace ( Enel) in a joint text published in the European version of Politician.
In the article, the three executives criticize the fact that, in the current price crisis, there have been various interventions in the electricity markets but not in the gas markets, which are the main driver of the prices of the former. Thus, Sánchez Galán, Lévy and Starace consider that “badly conceived changes” in the design of the electricity market or the “capture of non-existent additional benefits” will not be a true solution to the energy crisis. “You have to develop liquid futures markets and long-term price signals that play a greater role, helping to hedge risks and facilitating investments.”
The limitation of gas prices is one of the alternatives provided by the European Commission in its latest proposal before the summit and is seen favorably by the Governments of Spain, France and Italy. This possibility, however, would have to be accompanied by other specific measures and would have to obtain the approval of the rest of the EU Executives, in a debate that does not seem easy.
In any case, the heads of Iberdrola, EDF and Enel warn that any solution that is proposed must be applied equally to the whole of the Twenty-seven, since uncoordinated interventions between countries “distort and end up destroying” the integrated electricity market. A teledirected message to any unilateral movement that does not have the approval of the EU.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
Sánchez Galán, Lévy and Starace also urge the Heads of State and Government to “promote interconnections and electrical infrastructures to provide flexibility and reliability to the system and optimize the use of current resources”. A call that is especially important at a time when many sectors are pushing to revive the Midcat interconnection project between Spain and France, which would allow the Iberian Peninsula to become a gas distribution center for the rest of the continent.
“A Europe that quickly builds carbon-neutral technologies, that electrifies home heating and transport, and that diversifies fuels for heavy industry, is a more sustainable, more citizen-oriented and more independent Europe,” the text concludes.