LThe surge in electricity prices in Europe that is fueling the current energy crisis is above all linked to their artificial indexation to world gas prices. These prices were multiplied by more than twenty this summer from their normal level, disproportionate to the much slower evolution of production costs.
Consumer bills have followed this surge, more or less rapidly depending on the level of regulation in the country, causing a worsening of energy poverty, putting municipalities and businesses in difficulties and increasing inflation. Heterogeneous, partial, temporary and disordered measures followed which, at best, only averted the shock for some consumers.
Invoices multiplied by four or more
For example, the French tariff shield in 2022 limited the increase in bills to 4% for the only consumers who remained at the regulated sales tariff, i.e. two thirds of households, leaving the others – individuals, businesses and municipalities – to grapple with bills. sometimes multiplied by four or more. This tariff shield will be raised to 15% in 2023, but will still be limited to consumers at the regulated tariff.
After defending it for a long time, more and more states and experts now consider this market absurd. They obtained from the European Union, at the beginning of 2023, the promise to reform it in depth.
At the same time, on Friday 9 September Brussels met the energy ministers to define the emergency measures. Alas, only ” tracks “ it came out very blurry. Above all, the framework imposed by Brussels immediately condemns any hope of a quick and lasting exit from this crisis.
In fact, as the unsigned document that formed the basis of the debates reveals, the solutions consisting in eliminating this market price, which however was largely responsible for the crisis, have been automatically eliminated, because they are contrary to the dogma of competition that it clearly takes precedence over economic, social and ecological interests.
Hacks and huge profits
All that remains is ultra-complex solutions that consist in trying to compensate a posteriori the devastating effects of these ultra-volatile prices, taking part in the super-profits that producers realize thanks to the price hike and passing them on to targeted users.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, for example, has planned to limit purchase prices to 200 euros per megawatt hour (MWh) for producers with the cheapest power plants (mainly nuclear and renewables) … or at least three to four times their production cost, estimated at 49.50 euros / MWh for French nuclear power, between 50 and 150 euros / MWh for offshore wind, 25 euros / MWh for hydroelectric on the Rhône … therefore implicitly decides to keep large profits for these producers at the expense of consumers and taxpayers.
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