Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Belgium, Greece, Malta and Poland criticised European Commission’s proposal to introduce a cap on natural gas price at 275 euro per MWh.
EU energy ministers discussed plans to rein in rising energy prices on Thursday, with both proponents and critics of EC’s planned market intervention criticising the body’s latest proposal, according to Reuters reporting on Thursday.
The Commission proposed to cap the gas price at the TTF if it stays above 275 euro per MWh for two weeks and remains at least 58 euro per MWh higher than liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices for ten consecutive days.
Anna Moskwa, Polish Minister of Climate and Environment, described EC’s proposal as “a joke” and stressed that the proposed price ceiling was unacceptable because it is significantly higher than current market prices.
“I don’t know if there’s anyone who could back this proposal… it’s not even a start to a discussion,” she concluded.
Tinne Van der Straeten, Belgian Minister of Energy, added that “the text that is on the table is unsatisfactory… it doesn’t clearly say if it will have an effect on prices.”
Kostas Skrekas, Greek Minister of the Environment and Energy, expressed the belief that a price ceiling between 150 and 200 euros per MWh “could help us reduce gas prices and therefore reduce electricity prices, which is a major challenge in Europe this winter.”
Unlikely to be triggered
Miriam Dalli, Maltese Minister for the Environment, Energy, and Enterprise, criticized the proposal, pointing out that it would be “next to impossible” to trigger the mechanism due to strict conditions.
Roughly half of EU member states are calling for a bloc-wide gas price cap, while a smaller group headed by Germany is opposed to the idea, warning that the move would push suppliers away from the EU and limit the effectiveness of efforts aimed at lowering consumption.
Riina Sikkut, Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure expressed the belief that EC’s proposal is “OK, pretty much,” but only as a temporary solution.
“Europe still has to be an attractive gas market,” she noted and concluded “any measures on fossil fuels and gas – they don’t solve the problem… we need local, affordable energy that has a small environmental footprint.”