Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) has expressed reservations about the EU proposal for a gas price cap in European wholesale. Security of supply is important, Austria cannot install liquefied gas terminals on the coast.
As a landlocked country, it is dependent on pipelines. Ahead of the special meeting with her EU colleagues on Thursday, Gewessler expects “intense debates” and “different points of view”. She therefore thinks that no decision will be made about a gas price cap. While governments such as Germany and the Netherlands expressed similar skepticism, the price cap does not go far enough in many other EU countries such as Italy, France, Malta, Belgium and Poland. “For us, this is a joke after so many weeks of discussions and proposals,” said Polish Environment Minister Anna Moskwa.
Joint gas reduction is likely
However, it is expected that the ministers can agree on the less controversial content. These include joint gas procurement and accelerated approval procedures for renewable energy sources. “I think it’s important to leave no stone unturned to lower gas prices,” Gewessler said in Brussels. The security of supply argument must be taken into account. Austria’s demand to decouple electricity and gas prices is not on the agenda. According to Gewessler, this measure helps in the long run.
The background to the proposed gas price cap is the peak of 340 euros per megawatt hour of gas on the TTF at the end of August. Many supply contracts in the EU are linked to this. The cap would apply automatically if the price for the gas to be delivered in the following month exceeded EUR 275 per megawatt hour for two weeks and at the same time was at least EUR 58 higher than the reference price for liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the world market.