Joint EU gas purchases only solution, Brussels points out

The European Commission, in an announcement detailing the cost and effects of various emergency measures considered as remedies for the energy crisis, has singled out joint EU gas purchases that would cover all member states as the only solution that would not prompt side effects.

The announcement was made ahead of today’s summit of EU leaders, expected to examine a variety of measures proposed to tackle the energy crisis. Once conclusions are reached, directives will be issued.

European Commission officials have already concluded that all options come with costs and drawbacks.

Differing energy mixes, market structures and interconnection capabilities of EU member states complicates the task as no single measure would be ideal for all, the European Commission has pointed out in its announcement.

A proposed price ceiling on wholesale electricity prices would require compensation for electricity producers and complicate transboundary energy trade. In addition, this measure would also depend on the fiscal endurance of respective member states.

A price ceiling on gas, or the establishment of lower and upper limits, would need to be implemented throughout Europe to drastically reduce natural gas prices, and by extension, electricity prices, the Brussels announcement noted. Also, an optimal level would need to be set. If the upper limit, for example, is set too low, Europe would have trouble securing bigger gas orders. Also, low price limits would generate higher demand.