The Spanish government announced today that it is temporarily raising the benchmark price for gas used by power plants, in a move that the energy minister said would immediately cut costs by more than a third. individuals and for 70% of industry.
European countries are struggling to manage rising gas and electricity prices, which have been pushed up by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and to mitigate their impact on consumer purchasing power.
“With this decision, Spain is leading a structural change in European energy policy,” government spokeswoman Isabelle Rodriguez told a news conference in Madrid.
The European Commission agreed two weeks ago to allow Spain and Portugal to initially set a price ceiling of 40 euros per megawatt-hour, with the price limit set to rise to an average of 50 euros over the next 12 months.
Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said the ceiling would immediately cut costs for 37% of individuals and 70% of industrial companies, and benefit all consumers within a year.
“In the next 12 months we will have a special protection system in Iberia in a context of great instability,” he added.
Spain and Portugal have persuaded Brussels that they should be allowed to manage their own electricity prices, which are often inflated by expensive fossil fuels, even though the Iberian Peninsula has large amounts of renewable energy and its interconnection with the rest of Europe. she is small.
Ribera added that Brussels would give the final green light for the plan within 10 days.