NINE EU states have scuppered a Spanish/French proposal to reform the bloc’s wholesale energy markets.
Prompted by soaring bills, Spain and France wanted electricity prices to no longer be linked to the cost of gas.
They view it as unfair that consumers are not benefiting from low-cost renewables and nuclear sources of electricity, but instead have to pay inflated bills due to the high cost of gas.
But the nine countries – Austria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Latvia and the Netherlands – do not want long term reforms to the energy market, arguing that it is a world-wide problem that needs a global solution.
Instead they want short-term aid for consumers until gas prices settle.
In a joint statement, the nine said: “As the price spikes have global drivers, we should be very careful before interfering in the design of internal energy markets.
“We cannot support any measure that conflicts with the internal gas and electricity market, for instance, an ad hoc reform of the wholesale electricity market.”
They added: “This will not be a remedy to mitigate the current rising energy prices linked to fossil fuels markets.”
Their solution is to further integrate European energy markets with 15% electricity interconnection achieved throughout the EU by 2030. This would iron out peaks and troughs in demand and in internal market prices.