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High gas prices show need to speed up renewables – EC


14 Sept 2021 13:30




14 Sept 2021 13:30

(Montel) Current high gas prices show the need to speed up switching to renewables to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, said European Commission executive vice-president Frans Timmermans on Tuesday.

“Instead of being paralyzed or slowing things down because of the price hike now in the energy sector, we should speed things up in the transition to renewable energy so that affordable renewable energy becomes available for everyone,” he told the European Parliament.

The EC’s “Fit for 55” proposals, which aim to ensure the EU meets its binding target to cut CO2 by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, would have price effects, he said. The challenge was to make sure the burden of meeting the targets was evenly spread across society.

His comments came as Spain plans curbs on spiralling wholesale power prices, including a cap on gas costs.

Timmermans said only about a fifth of the recent energy price increases could be attributed to higher ETS carbon prices. The rest was “simply a consequence of shortage in the market.”

He suggested that the EU would have avoided the price spikes if it had switched earlier and more quickly to renewables and so reduced its dependency on natural gas.

“We have seen along this energy price crisis… that the prices for renewables have stayed low and stable,” he said.

The parliament must debate and then agree with the EU Council of Ministers, representing national governments, a common text for the “Fit for 55” proposals before they can become law. This process usually takes at least 18 months to two years.

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