Electricity market ‘not to blame for current crisis’, EU agency concludes

(EurActiv, 29 Apr 2022) The EU’s integrated electricity market has helped mitigate energy prices, bringing benefits estimated at €34 billion per year, according to a report by the EU’s energy regulators, who outline 13 measures to alleviate the ongoing price crisis.

In a much-awaited report, the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) delivered its conclusion on the role played by wholesale electricity markets in the ongoing energy price crisis, exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Published on Friday (29 April), the report is clear: “Whilst the current circumstances impacting the EU’s energy system are far from ‘normal’, ACER finds that the current electricity market design is not to blame for the current crisis”.

“On the contrary, the market rules in place have to some extent helped mitigate the current crisis, thus avoiding electricity curtailment or even blackouts in certain quarters,” the agency adds, estimating the benefits at €34 billion per year on average.

Gas prices surged to record highs in autumn as tight supplies collided with high demand in European economies recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. This pushed up the cost of electricity, driven by “marginal” production capacity available from gas power plants that can be fired up at short notice to meet peak demand.

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EurActiv, 29 Apr 2022: Electricity market ‘not to blame for current crisis’, EU agency concludes