The European Commission on Tuesday adopted reforms aimed at boosting energy security and making consumer bills less dependent on volatile fossil fuel prices.
The reforms come against the backdrop of skyrocketing energy prices in 2022, as the EU tried to move away from Russian fossil fuels in the context of the conflict in Ukraine.
“We propose to expand the role of long-term instruments, introduce measures to boost the market for power purchase agreements, and enhance the flexibility of the electricity system through storage and demand response measures,” European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson told a press conference on Tuesday.
Consumer protection will also be improved, through the right to have multiple contracts, the right to share renewable energy with neighbors, and improved information on offers.
Vulnerable consumers will be protected from being disconnected, EU member states will be obliged to establish last resort suppliers, and access to regulated retail prices during a crisis will be ensured.
EU industry should also become more competitive, as businesses would be given better access to more stable, longer-term contracts and markets.
In addition, the reforms will accelerate the deployment of renewables. “We will require the Member States to use two-way contracts for difference when they grant subsidies to new investment intended to promote new low-carbon and renewable generation,” the Commissioner said.
The proposed reforms will now be debated by the European Parliament and the European Council before being adopted. ■