Dreyer: Federal government should examine electricity price regulation

Mainz (dpa / lrs) – The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer, has asked the federal government to examine state regulation of electricity prices. “The rules on the electricity exchange urgently need to be adjusted,” the SPD politician told the German Press Agency in Mainz on Monday. “Because this is only possible across Europe, the federal government should also examine whether electricity trading can be suspended in the short term and whether state price regulation is possible.” The high electricity prices are not justified, but “the result of a misguided electricity market”. “The state must intervene here,” Dreyer demanded.

On the European electricity market, prices are currently set primarily by gas-fired power plants. Since the price of gas has risen sharply against the background of the war in Ukraine, electricity has also become more expensive. A reform of the European electricity market could revise this mechanism so that consumers pay less for cheap electricity from the sun and wind, for example. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a reform of the electricity market in the EU on Monday. Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) recently announced a fundamental reform to decouple the development of end customer prices for electricity from rising gas prices.

Dreyer also spoke out in favor of decoupling electricity and gas prices in the long term. She pointed out that gas-fired power plants in Germany accounted for just 14 percent of electricity generation, while electricity from renewable energies accounted for almost 50 percent.

“Since electricity and gas prices are not decoupled, prices are rising for consumers and profits for energy suppliers who sell electricity from renewable energies,” complained Dreyer. The consumers do not benefit from the low production costs for the climate-friendly electricity, but only the energy suppliers. “We have to change this imbalance. If necessary, with state electricity price regulation,” Dreyer demanded.

“Prices are rising rapidly, not only for gas, but also for electricity. We don’t have an electricity crisis, we have a gas crisis.” The Prime Minister warned that electricity prices should not go through the roof after gas prices. “For many people, energy costs are becoming an existential burden.” There is no electricity, but a gas crisis. “We must prevent citizens and parts of the economy from not being able to pay their electricity bills any longer, while some energy suppliers are now making huge profits in electricity trading,” demanded the SPD politician.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220829-99-555993/3

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