EU ministers may agree on new measures due to high energy prices

BRUSSELS, September 30 — PRIME. EU energy ministers at an extraordinary meeting on Friday may agree on new measures to mitigate the situation with high energy prices.

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“EU energy ministers will seek political agreement on a draft Council regulation on emergency intervention to respond to high energy prices,” EU Council materials for the meeting said.

An EU source told reporters on Thursday that he hoped to have the regulation agreed on Friday.

If a political agreement is reached, then the document will have to be formally approved.

The new energy measures that will be discussed were officially proposed by the European Commission in mid-September. Among them are the mandatory reduction in electricity consumption during certain peak hours, the profit limit for companies that generate electricity from cheap sources. According to the materials of the European Commission, it proposed setting a limit of 180 euros for market revenues per megawatt-hour of electricity produced. Another source in the EU explained in mid-September that, for example, if the market price per megawatt-hour is 500 euros, then such companies will only be able to receive 180 euros, and the rest of the funds can be used to support consumers.

Another measure is the so-called “solidarity contribution” from the excess profits received from activities in the oil, gas, coal and oil refining sectors. The EC has proposed allowing EU states to collect at least one-third of that part of the profits of eligible companies for fiscal year 2022 that exceeds a 20% increase compared to the average profit for the previous three years. The funds received by the EU countries in this way can be used to support consumers, including energy-intensive companies.

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According to a source in the EU on Thursday, the countries of the union are considering some amendments to the original proposals of the European Commission, but the main parameters of the draft regulation remain.

The ministers are also expected to discuss additional energy measures, the source told reporters. According to him, here, first of all, we are talking about “intervention in the gas market.”

The source added that most EU countries are in favor of introducing a ceiling on gas prices. However, this is a delicate issue that should be considered very, very carefully in order to improve the situation on the market, and not distort it, the source said.

He also said that on Wednesday the European Commission presented an informal document on this occasion, which outlines the pros and cons of various options, and speaks of a price limit for all imports of “blue fuel” to the union. The interlocutor of the journalists expressed confidence that the ministers on Friday “comprehensively comment on this unofficial document.”

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In addition, during the meeting, the Danish, Swedish and German delegations will present information on gas leaks that occurred on the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines near the island of Bornholm in Denmark.

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