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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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The EU Plan To Curb Energy Prices May Not Be Aggressive Enough

  • The European Commission is working hard to reduce energy prices in Europe with a plan to raise $140 billion and even reform the electricity market.
  • According to several energy-intensive industry associations, these efforts by the European Union won't be enough to help them survive the winter.
  • The EU energy ministers are meeting on September 30 to discuss the Commission's plan, and these industry groups will hope for an even more aggressive proposal.

This week's proposals from the European Commission to reduce soaring energy prices and help households and businesses through the crisis are not enough, several European industry associations say.  

On Wednesday, the Commission said it would propose a revenue cap for companies producing electricity at a low cost and a "crisis contribution" from the extra profits of fossil fuel companies in a plan to raise $140 billion (140 billion euros) to cushion the energy crisis blow to European citizens and economy. The EU will also look to reform the electricity market to decouple the dominant influence of gas on the price of electricity, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.  

Reacting to the Commission's plan to tackle the crisis, European Aluminium, the association of the aluminum industry in Europe, said that the proposed emergency measures "are necessary but not enough to help aluminium industry survive winter."

"These measures are not enough and will not save the energy-intensive aluminium industry from further production cuts, job losses, and possibly a complete breakdown," the association added.

Soaring energy prices have prompted a wave of aluminum capacity cuts across Europe as smelters reel from sky-high gas and power prices while demand remains soft due to concerns about global economic growth.

Due to the high energy costs, the European metals industry last week called on the EU for emergency action to prevent a collapse of the sector which faces an existential threat from surging power and gas prices. 

The fertilizer industry is also suffering from natural gas prices 15 times the pre-crisis level, 10 times more than the U.S. prices, and well above the prices in Asia, the Fertilizers Europe group said last week in a letter to Commission President von der Leyen.

"For many energy-intensive industries there is currently no business case to continue production in Europe nor visibility and certainty for investments and further developments. The effects of those closures are also starting to have a severe impact on our value chains endangering European industrial base and the availability of essential products more broadly," Fertilizers Europe said ahead of the proposals put forward by the Commission.

After the proposals, Fertilizers Europe director general Jacob Hansen told Reuters:

"We need a physical supply of competitively priced gas for the European fertilizer producers to restart production."

The EU energy ministers are meeting on September 30 to discuss the Commission's plan.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 16 2022 said:
    The European Commission is swimming against the tide by its palliative measures to curb the skyrocketing energy prices.

    In a global oil market at its most bullish states since 2014, robust global oil and gas markets, a shrinking global oil and refining spare production capacities and gas and LNG shortages, it would be impossible to curb energy prices. Only lifting or easing the sanctions against Russia will curb energy price rises.

    This also means stopping supplying Ukraine with billions of dollars of weapons when these huge sums could be used to offset the huge energy bills customers are footing.

    Excessively high energy prices are forcing the closure of many energy-intensive industries in the EU. The effects of those closures are endangering European industrial base and the availability of essential products more broadly.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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