EU launches ‘toolbox’ of measures to tackle global energy price rise

It suggests priority should be given to rapidly mitigate the impact of price rises for vulnerable consumers and small businesses, however, the long term transition and investments in cleaner energy sources should not be disrupted

The Big Zero report

The European Commission has launched a “toolbox” to help member states address the immediate impact of current energy price increases and further strengthen resilience against future shocks.

While several member states have already announced national measures to mitigate price rises, others are looking to the Commission for guidance on what steps they can take.

It suggests priority should be given to targeted measures that can rapidly mitigate the impact of price rises for vulnerable consumers and small businesses, however, the long term transition and investments in cleaner energy sources should not be disrupted.

The Commission says the clean energy transition is the “best insurance” against price shocks in the future and needs to be accelerated.

Immediate measures to protect consumers and businesses include providing emergency income support for energy poor consumers, for example, through vouchers or partial bill payments, putting safeguards in place to avoid disconnections from the grid, providing aid to companies or industries and facilitating a wider access to renewable power purchase agreements (PPAs) and supporting them via flanking measures.

Medium term measures suggested by the Commission for a decarbonised and resilient energy system include stepping up investments in renewables and energy efficiency and speeding up renewables auctions and permitting processes, developing energy storage capacity and exploring the potential benefits of voluntary joint procurement of gas stocks by member states.

Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said: “Rising global energy prices are a serious concern for the EU. As we emerge from the pandemic and begin our economic recovery, it is important to protect vulnerable consumers and support European companies. The Commission is helping member states to take immediate measures to reduce the impact on households and businesses this winter. At the same time, we identify other medium term measures to ensure that our energy system is more resilient and more flexible to withstand any future volatility throughout the transition.

“The current situation is exceptional and the internal energy market has served us well for the past 20 years. But we need to be sure that it continues to do so in the future, delivering on the European Green Deal, boosting our energy independence and meeting our climate goals.”

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