Energy price drop reduces likelihood of market revisions

Reduced energy prices in Europe have dampened the likelihood of any major market revisions, while, given the currently mild conditions, officials are most likely to enter a period of protracted talks before reaching any decisions, developments on the first day, yesterday, of an informal meeting between EU energy ministers in Stockholm have indicated.

The opening day of talks in Sweden, holding the EU’s rotating presidency for the first half of 2023, included a session on “Energy market planning and security of supply – preparing for next winter and beyond” and will today be followed up by talks on “Future energy policy for industrial competitiveness in all Member States”.

Greece, represented by the energy ministry’s secretary-general, Alexandra Sdoukou, is upholding its long-held view in support of radical market changes that would decouple electricity prices from those of natural gas so that final prices reflect actual cost rather than be influenced by gas price fluctuations.

Though natural gas prices have levelled off lately, they remain a constant threat given pricing methods used in wholesale electricity markets.

Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Romania support radical market changes that would stop prices being fully shaped by the day-ahead market.

Some EU member states, including Denmark and the Netherlands, are in favor of certain market changes but are steering clear of radical restructuring, while others, among them Belgium and Hungary, propose no changes to the target model.

Germany has proposed deferring talks for any market revisions until 2024.