The Slovenia Times

No proof that wholesale energy markets do not work, says Vrtovec


Brussels - After chairing a session of EU ministers in charge of energy, Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec said on Thursday that the main conclusion of the meeting was that there was no evidence that wholesale energy markets were not working.

The meeting of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council was mainly aimed at discussing soaring energy prices and measures to mitigate the situation, as well as an interim report on the situation of the wholesale markets by the EU's Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

"The most important finding of this report is surely that there is no evidence that the markets do not work. On the contrary, the report highlights the many benefits of the current end-user market model, which has helped to cushion energy price rises that would have been even higher in a less integrated market," Vrtovec told a press conference after the session.

A number of EU member states presented their national measures to mitigate the situation that are based on a toolkit presented by the European Commission.

Most countries consider the toolkit an appropriate framework for the introduction of national measures, Vrtovec said, adding that a number of member states stressed the importance of maintaining the current wholesale electricity market system.

"It is a fact that some volatility will remain in the markets in these challenging times, but we need to provide our own energy independence if we want to calm the volatility of electricity market prices as much as possible in the long term," the minister noted.

The only strategy that would help achieve this is increasing investment in renewables and other low-carbon energy sources such as nuclear power, he added.

Progress on the Fit for 55 package was also on the agenda of today's meeting, especially regarding directives on renewables and energy efficiency.

Many member states are still analysing the impact of the proposals on their economies on the whole. Most support the level of ambition of the proposed targets, but also highlight that it is necessary to ensure sufficient flexibility and take into account country-specific features.

"Numerous delegations expect more flexibility to achieve the most appropriate and cost-effective policies. Flexibility is key as the characteristics of our energy systems still vary widely," Vrtovec said.


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