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Soaring energy prices: EU unveils arsenal of measures – Economy


On October 6, the leaders of the European Union, who were gathered in Slovenia, have displayed their divisions as to the response to the soaring global energy prices : France

and Spain – “We are facing an unprecedented crisis which requires exceptional measures,” insisted Pedro Sanchez, Spanish Prime Minister – have, for example, called for in-depth reform, while others have advocated patience.

Temporary measures

But, faced with the emergency, Brussels is forced to step up to the plate: this Wednesday, the EU will therefore propose an arsenal of measures. These will be temporary measures because we will have to wait for the next summit of heads of state and government on October 21 and 22 to discuss longer-term adaptations.

At least six months of tension? At the microphone ofFrance Inter

Monday, Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, warned: according to him, we can expect at least six months of tension. This is why, “we will give each State the possibility of lowering taxes on energy, such as VAT, to redistribute to the most disadvantaged”, he said, specifying that there are approximately 36 million people. who need it in the EU, including six million in France.

In the longer term, “we will have to work together, to have an energy mix that allows us to combat these volatilities, with renewable energies, but also energy of stability. In my opinion, 25% of nuclear power must be maintained ”.

Prices eight times higher than six months ago

In the meantime, new records are broken: for example, on October 6, the European benchmark gas price, the Dutch TTF, soared by more than 35%, to € 162.12, when the British gas price for delivery next month hit 407.82 pence per therm (a unit amount of heat). Prices eight times higher than six months ago.

The reasons for the crisis

But how did we come to this? It is first and foremost the global economic recovery, and particularly in China, which has supported energy demand after the covid-19 air gap. Another factor: “The climatic hazards”, underlines Anne-Sophie Corbeau. Long, cold winters in Asia and Europe in particular drove demand for heating. The weather also resulted in disappointing wind production in Europe in the second quarter, offset by gas.

Technical problems also weighed on the offer. “There have been a whole bunch of problems with LNG (liquefied natural gas) installations all over the world,” says Geoffroy Hureau, Secretary General of Cedigaz. For example, an LNG facility in Norway suffered a fire a year ago and is still not operational. Gas production in the Netherlands is also in decline due to the scheduled shutdown of the Groningen field.

Finally, “storage is at a historically low level for this time of year,” says Geoffroy Hureau.

How to reduce your energy bills? Our file * On September 30, Jean Castex announced a “Tariff shield”

with the blocking of the regulated gas tariff until April and the limitation of the increase in electricity in the face of soaring energy prices.