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EU launches debate on electricity market reform amid rising consumer bills

(EurActiv, 24 Jan 2023) European Union proposals to overhaul its electricity market will attempt to better protect consumer energy bills from short-term swings in fossil fuel prices, the European Commission said on Monday (23 January).

The EU is reforming its power market to attempt to avoid a repeat of last year, when cuts to Russian gas supply drove European electricity prices to record levels, hiking bills for households and forcing some industries to close.

In a public consultation launched on Monday, the Commission laid out numerous options to overhaul the way power plants sell electricity, as part of the market reform it will propose in March.

Although the current market design has worked for many years, it “has also demonstrated some shortcomings,” the EU executive acknowledged, saying the current gas crisis has pushed the burden of higher energy costs on to final consumers.

“A reform is therefore needed to better shield households and businesses from high energy prices, to increase resilience, and to accelerate the transition set out in the European Green Deal,” it said.

“The unprecedented energy crisis we are facing shows that we need to make the electricity market design fit for the future, allowing it to deliver the benefits of affordable clean energy to everyone,” EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson said in a statement.

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EurActiv, 24 Jan 2023: EU launches debate on electricity market reform amid rising consumer bills