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Austria concerned as EU executive continues work on gas price cap

The Austrian government has voiced concerns regarding the price caps envisioned by Spain and France to tackle ever-increasing energy prices despite the country speaking in favour of intervention.

On Tuesday, EU energy ministers met in Luxembourg to discuss measures EU leaders agreed to in principle last week.

Measures like “a dynamic price corridor” and a Europeanisation of the Spanish and Portuguese electricity market intervention have raised concerns even in countries that, in principle support them.

“If enormous price jumps happen with small volumes during the day, then the [stock] market is suspended. The same thing must now be done on the gas market,” Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler explained ahead of the meeting.

Behind closed doors, Gewessler cautioned that the gas price caps could threaten the security of supply and risk consequences on existing and long-term contracts.

On expanding the Iberian cap, a scheme under which Spain and Portugal have subsidised gas burned for electricity for months, Austria warned of effectively subsidising electricity for other EU countries.

“How do we, with all solidarity, avoid subsidising electricity for neighbouring EU countries,” she noted. In countries where gas generation plays a large role, costs of applying the Iberian cap are likely to be higher, while electricity prices may be lower on average too.

But as concerns remain, opposition parties have complained in the face of slow progress.

“November is just around the corner, so we simply cannot allow another round of unambitious energy ministers to remain without a result,” Claudia Gamon, an Austrian MEP of the liberal NEOS party, explained.

Source: Euractiv

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