Tuesday. 31.01.2023
ENERGY CRISIS

Spain backtracks limiting price of electricity to 180 euros per MWh

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has been on a tour of several European capitals to try to gather support for his bid to decouple the price of electricity from that of gas

18/03/2022. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, during his meeting with the Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, and the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Photo: La Moncloa.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, during his meeting with the Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, and the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis last friday. Photo: La Moncloa.

In the midst of the perfect economic storm - electricity, gas and fuel prices soaring, and with truckers and fishermen on strike - the Spanish government has backed down on its proposal to set a cap on the price of electricity in the wholesale market.

Last Thursday, the third vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, announced in an interview that the governments of Spain and Portugal planned to present a joint proposal at the European Council to be held in Brussels on March 24 and 25 to limit the price of electricity at 180 euros per megawatt hour (MWh).

But the lack of support among some key partners such as Germany, which is not in favor of allowing any direct intervention in the energy market, has led the Spanish government to withdraw from its proposal, which was supported by Portugal and also gathered sympathy from Italy and Greece.

The Ministry for the Ecological Transition confirmed on Monday that the proposal has been abandoned and that the third vice president, Teresa Ribera, is working "intensely" on other responses to the extremely high price of electricity.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has been on a tour of several European capitals to try to gather support for his bid to decouple the price of electricity from that of gas.

A historical reference

At the moment it is unknown what the specific proposals that Spain will finally present to the European Council will be.

The maximum price of 180 euros/Mwh was a reference that existed years ago in the Spanish and Portuguese regulation.

But in 2019 a European Union directive prohibited limiting the offers of electricity companies in the wholesale market.

Spain backtracks limiting price of electricity to 180 euros per MWh
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