EU countries fail to agree position on electricity market reform

(EurActiv, 20 Jun 2023) The EU’s 27 energy ministers failed to reach a common position on reforming the bloc’s electricity market on Monday (19 June), following disagreements over subsidies for backup coal power generation and the lifetime extension of existing nuclear power plants.

The reform, tabled by the European Commission in March, seeks to to avoid a repeat of last year’s energy crisis, when record-high gas prices left consumers with soaring energy bills.

It aims to lower consumer bills by relying less on short-term markets and promoting instead long-term contracts with renewable energy producers providing electricity at lower cost.

“Long and difficult negotiations on electricity market design today,” Swedish Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Ebba Busch, who chaired the meeting, told journalists afterwards.

“We have successfully agreed on two out of three parts of the electricity market design package,” she added.

Ministers met in Luxembourg with the aim of greenlighting their stance ahead of negotiations with the European Parliament to finalise the law before the winter season.

But while they agreed on a law to prevent market manipulation and tentatively agreed on some elements of market reform, they left with major outstanding issues.

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EurActiv, 20 Jun 2023: EU countries fail to agree position on electricity market reform