TALLINN – At the proposal of Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut, the government on Thursday approved Estonia's positions for the extraordinary meeting of European Union energy ministers on Friday, at which urgent measures to bring energy prices lower for consumers will be discussed.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said in a press release that the current organization of the European Union's electricity market has helped ensure lower prices for Estonian electricity consumers for many years.
"Unfortunately, the market organization we have does not function in the new situation where energy prices are extremely high because Russia uses energy as a weapon and manipulates energy markets," Kallas said, adding that Estonia is ready to support temporary intervention in the EU electricity market in order to reduce the impact of Russia's war on residents and businesses.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut also said that Russia's war in Ukraine and manipulation of the energy market have led to skyrocketing energy prices, which can only be countered by Europe-wide decisions.
"The government endorsed the positions, which state that we support increasing the transparency of the electricity exchange so that the formation of electricity prices is more understandable to the general public," Sikkut said, adding that maintaining trust in the electricity exchange is an important part of the functioning of the electricity market, which is why the electricity market regulation, which provides for automatic changes to the maximum price, needs to be reviewed.
"In view of the upcoming heating season, it is important for Estonia that electricity consumption is reduced across the EU, as lower electricity consumption helps to reduce spikes in electricity prices. According to Sikkut, there is huge untapped potential in electricity consumption management and shifting within the 24-hour period, which also helps to lower prices.
"At the same time, the different climates of the countries and the effects of fuel substitution must also be taken into account in this, as the ease of reducing consumption in the winter months is not the same in Spain and in the Nordic countries," she said.
Estonia supports the imposition of the lowest possible price cap on Russian energy carriers, which will help to reduce the aggressor country's revenues for waging the war, as well as the temporary modification of the emissions trading system in such a way as to make it possible to limit the price of energy for consumers in the context of the energy crisis.