European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen says the time is now for the bloc to impose a worth cap on Russian pipeline gasoline.
John Thys | AFP | Getty Photos
The European Union needs to launch a “deep and complete reform” of the electrical energy market, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned Wednesday.
In her annual State of the Union speech, delivered on the European Parliament constructing within the French metropolis of Strasbourg, von der Leyen mentioned the market was designed on the precept of advantage order, and never match for function.
“Shoppers ought to reap the advantages of low-cost renewables,” she mentioned, “So we’ve got to decouple the dominance of the value of gasoline on the value of electrical energy.”
Von der Leyen additionally mentioned there had been a shift from pipeline gasoline to elevated use of liquefied pure gasoline, however the benchmark used within the gasoline market, TTF, had not been tailored.
She mentioned the fee would work on growing a extra consultant benchmark for buying and selling that displays this modification, and likewise ease liquidity pressures on power suppliers by amending guidelines on collaterals and taking measures to restrict intraday worth volatility.
An power disaster of each provide and pricing in Europe got here to a head earlier this month as Russia indefinitely halted gasoline flows to Europe by means of the important thing Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
EU power ministers met Friday to debate a five-point plan which features a worth cap on Russian gasoline, a windfall tax on fossil gasoline firms’ income, a restrict on revenues from renewable and nuclear firms, a compulsory goal for decreasing peak hour power use by 5% and emergency credit score strains for energy firms.
Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to ignore current contracts and shut off power provides to Europe utterly after the plan was introduced.
Addressing the windfall tax and income cap plans, von der Leyen mentioned that whereas income weren’t essentially a nasty factor, “it’s mistaken to obtain extraordinary document revenues and income benefiting from battle and on the again of our shoppers.”
“In these instances, income should be shared and channeled to those that want it most.”
She mentioned thousands and thousands of households and companies throughout the European Union have been battling worth rises and have been fearful for the longer term.
Tax on fossil gasoline income would supply 140 billion euros ($139.8 billion) to be cut up between member states for power invoice assist, she added.
Von der Leyen mentioned a precedence for the bloc should be on ending its dependency on Russian gasoline, with imports from the nation already falling from 40% final yr to 9% now.
“We have now agreed to affix storage, we are actually at 84%, overshooting our targets,” she mentioned.
However, she continued: “This won’t be sufficient. We have now to diversify away from Russia to dependable suppliers like the USA, Norway, Algeria and others,” in addition to investing extra closely in renewables and LNG terminals.
‘Putin will fail’
Ukrainian first girl Olena Zelenska was in attendance in Strasbourg as a visitor of honor, and was given a standing ovation by parliamentarians.
Zelenska tweeted that she needed to “personally thank” von der Leyen for her contribution to Ukraine changing into a candidate for EU membership.
Von der Leyen, who delivered the speech carrying the Ukrainian flag colours of yellow and blue, made impassioned statements on the battle, saying Ukraine had confronted the “face of evil” following the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.
“A lot is at stake, not only for Ukraine however for all of Europe and the world at massive,” she mentioned, paying tribute to the victims of the battle, which she mentioned was additionally an assault on Europe’s economic system, power, values and future .
“It’s about autocracy in opposition to democracy and I stand right here with the conviction that with the mandatory braveness and solidarity Putin will fail and Ukraine and Europe will prevail.”
“As we speak braveness has a reputation and that identify is Ukraine. Braveness has a face and that face is the face of Ukrainian women and men who’re standing as much as Russia aggression.”
Kyiv forces have reclaimed 1000’s of kilometers of Russian-occupied land in current days, resulting in fears over Moscow’s subsequent transfer. Russia launched intense shelling on the Kharkiv area on Saturday.
Von der Leyen additionally mentioned sanctions in opposition to Russia have been “right here to remain” and it was the “time for resolve and never appeasement.”
Three quarters of Russia’s banking sector had been lower off from worldwide markets, almost 1,000 worldwide firms had left the nation, its manufacturing of automobiles fell by 75% in comparison with final yr and its “trade is in tatters,” with its army stripping family home equipment for components resulting from a semiconductor scarcity, she famous.
She added that she needed to increase “seamless entry” to the EU single market to Ukraine and would journey to Kyiv Wednesday to debate this with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.