The EC Wants Us to Save Electricity during Peak Hours
The European Commission will propose mandatory targets to reduce peak-hour electricity consumption, its president, Ursula von der Leyen, has announced.
This is one of the five measures with which Europe intends to fight the energy crisis.
A ceiling on Russian gas prices will also be proposed, Von der Leyen added.
The ideas will be discussed at the extraordinary Energy Council on September 9 in Brussels.
"We are facing an emergency situation because Russia is an unreliable supplier and is manipulating our energy markets," von der Leyen said.
Through diversification, the EU has increased pipeline supplies of liquefied natural gas or "blue fuel" from the US, Norway, Algeria, Azerbaijan and other countries. And Norway currently supplies more gas to the EU than Russia.
"But we also see that the manipulation of the gas markets has an effect on the electricity markets as well. We are facing astronomical electricity prices for households and companies and enormous market instability," continued the President of the EC.
Brussels will therefore take a series of measures to protect vulnerable consumers and businesses, as well as to help them adapt.
1. Smart power saving.
The change is that global energy supplies are scarce. Which requires a reduction in demand.
“We will propose a mandatory target to reduce peak-hour electricity use. And we will work to achieve it with the member countries," said Ursula von der Leyen.
2. A ceiling on the excess profits of companies producing cheap electricity
Low-carbon energy sources bring windfall profits that do not reflect production costs.
"It's time for consumers to take advantage of low prices for low-carbon sustainable sources like renewables," Von der Leyen said.
The EC will therefore propose to redirect these windfalls to support vulnerable people and companies so that they can adapt.
3. A cap on the excess profits of fossil fuel companies
Oil and gas companies also racked up huge profits. The EC will offer solidarity contributions for companies extracting fossil fuels. All energy sources must help to deal with the crisis. And EU member states must invest these profits in supporting vulnerable households and in clean home-grown energy sources.
4. Support for energy companies in dealing with market volatility
They are currently being asked to provide unexpectedly large amounts, threatening their ability to trade and the stability of futures markets.
Through this measure, the EC will help member countries to provide liquidity to companies. The Commission will update the time frame in order to implement the state guarantees quickly.
5. Ceiling on Russian gas prices
"The goal here is very clear. We must stop the Russian profits that Putin is using to finance his brutal war in Ukraine," Von der Leyen pointed out.
She summarized that the EU's response to Russian aggression against Ukraine has produced very good results. At the beginning of the war, Russian gas coming to Europe through pipes was 40 percent of all imports. Now it has already decreased to only 9 percent of all European imports.
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