The alarm went off all over Europe. And not since yesterday. The combination of a series of unfavorable factors, coupled with the start of the ecological transition path on a continental level, is driving energy prices upwards, suggesting a difficult autumn season for consumers. The vice-president of the European commission Frank Timmermans, responsible for the climate, took note of this situation yesterday, but he wanted to defend the choice made by the EU executive. If the increases depend on both the trend in the price of gas and that of C02 (conditioned precisely by the political shift towards renewables), the Dutch socialist exponent wanted to highlight that this latter component weighs only one fifth of the total increases. And he therefore attributed the current situation also to the delays accumulated so far: “If we had had the Green Deal five years ago we would not be in trouble today for the simple fact that we would be less dependent on fossil fuels and natural gas.” At the same time, Timmermans is perfectly aware of the need to support the weakest social groups in this phase, also to avoid widespread resistance that would make it even more difficult to achieve the goal.
Bills, Cingolani: “Urgent operation so we will guarantee competitiveness”
And yesterday he also focused on this delicate aspect Mario Draghi. “We want to accelerate the decarbonization commitment, reduce emissions and focus on cutting-edge technologies such as hydrogen, on which there is a structured collaboration at European level – observed the President of the Council – the timing of this process must be ambitious, but compatible with the adaptability of our economies and the state must be ready to help citizens and businesses in facing the costs of this complex transformation ».
Bills, the maxi-increases stir the parties: «Draghi stop the price increases». EU worried: “Let’s not slow down the transition”
The request for interventions yesterday reached the government from practically all political forces. The secretary of the Democratic Party Letta urged, against an “absolutely excessive” increase in tariffs, a one-off reduction in system charges. The leader of the Lega Salvini has instead made it known that he had spoken with Minister Cingolani, asking the executive for an intervention that starts from the fiscal component of the bills. A move that includes VAT containment has also been proposed by the Five Star Movement and Forza Italia.
Spain, which shares the same emergency, in the face of an increase in the tariff quantified at 34% in August has already announced an intervention to reduce costs, which also includes the cut in taxes on electricity. And other European countries should also move in a similar direction.
Looking ahead, price tensions could at least partially subside, as regards the component linked to gas prices (decisive for electricity production) but this will hardly happen before next year. The influencing factors are different. On the one hand, there are the seasonal ones: a relatively cooler spring reduced gas reserves, at a time when wind production was also lower, due to lower average wind speeds.
At the same time, the demand induced by the global economic recovery, in Europe but also in Asia, has contributed to increasing gas prices internationally. And uncertainty also weighs on the actual entry into operation of the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Germany: the analysts’ impression is that when the situation on this front unlocks, prices will also begin to reverse their direction. However, the impact of the CO2 price, which rises precisely due to the more ambitious climate objectives announced by the European Union, is destined to remain. Only when these are closer, with the increase in energy produced through renewable sources, will it be possible to see favorable effects for consumers: this is precisely the difficulty of the transition.
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