EU may unveil electricity market reform proposals in a few months – official

  • 2022-09-01
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The European Commission is likely to come up with proposals on an "emergency intervention" to curb soaring electricity prices in the next few weeks, but decisions on a structural reform of the bloc's power market may take a few months, according to Marius Vascega, head of the European Commission Representation in Lithuania.

"This is something that requires a rather quick reaction. It is a matter of weeks before emergency intervention proposals can be made.  As to a more comprehensive review of the electricity market, more time should probably be allowed for analysis so as to come up with serious solutions," Vascega told BNS. 

A reform is "is a matter of a few months rather than weeks," he added.

The official would not comment on whether the Commission might unveil its proposals before an emergency meeting of the bloc's energy ministers scheduled for September 9. 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday that EU bodies were working on an emergency intervention and a structural reform of the bloc's electricity market.

According to Vascega, a review of the electricity market model must look into the potential for greater efficiency, which is complicated by natural gas prices.  

"The price of gas is a significant component of the price in the electricity market model," the official said. "As we know, the price of gas today is the result of Putin's manipulations."

"That is why we have to assess in this situation to what extent our electricity market, where the price is dependent on the manipulative gas price, among other factors, meets the characteristics of a well-functioning market, and to look for common solutions," he said. 

Lithuanian President Nauseda on Wednesday also called on the EU to untie gas and electricity prices to contain their sharp rise. He said he had discussed the issue with von der Leyen and officials from other Baltic Sea countries in Copenhagen on Tuesday.

However, Lithuanian Energy Minister Dainius Kreivys said on Wednesday that untying electricity and natural gas prices would destroy the electricity trading system and that comprehensive solutions were needed.