Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European CommissionGettyThe draft agreement distributed by the Czech presidency admits that the cap on inframarginals be increased above 180 euros if their generation costs increasedSome governments (the Polish, the Italian) continue to ask for a cap to gasThe community machinery continues to fine-tune the intervention plan for the European electricity market. After the first draft of the European Commission and a meeting of energy ministers, the European Executive announced its formal proposal last week. The plan now goes to the Council, where the six-monthly presidency (Czech Republic), after speaking with the capitals, has presented specific but important modifications that will, above all, resolve doubts from the governments. If everything goes according to plan, the energy ministers will have to give their final approval on Friday, September 30. If it runs aground, the plan will go to the European summit in the second week of October. The main novelty of the draft circulated by the Czech presidency and of which NIUS was able to obtain a copy is that it allows governments not to adopt the extraordinary tax of 33 % to additional benefits at 20% with respect to the 2018-2021 period. To do this, governments must demonstrate that they have already approved similar measures with the only condition that these national taxes do not collect less than what the European Commission had planned to collect with its tax proposal. The Spanish Government could thus maintain its tax if it collected as much as the Commission expected. Another change refers to the cap on what is paid for electricity generated by nuclear, renewable or hydroelectric plants. Those plants have costs similar to those they had before the energy crisis but charge for their electricity as if they used gas to generate it. They are known as “benefits fallen from heaven”. The European plan sets the maximum that can be paid at 180 euros per megawatt. It is a cap that multiplies by between three and four what they charged before the crisis, so they will continue to have a good amount of those “benefits from heaven”. The modification introduced by the Czech presidency is to allow governments to increase that limit (never reduce it) to pay more if they consider that the costs of those plants have also increased. Czechia introduces a change in the measure that required a reduction in electricity consumption. It maintains the 10% reduction in general and the 5% in peak hours, but uses another calculation method so that the savings will actually be less. The European Commission wanted it to be calculated monthly. The Czech draft establishes that it will be done taking into account the highest consumption in 10% of hours between December 1st and March 31st. This reduces the necessary savings in the months with the most energy consumption during that period because it dilutes the months with the most energy consumption (normally December and January) in a band that lasts until late spring. What remains out of the plans is to establish a cap on imported gas. There is no consensus either to set that limit only for Russian gas or to do so, as Poland and Italy ask, for all imported gas.
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