Energy prices in Europe are skyrocketing. We will not let corporate greed win!
Electricity prices are hitting record highs across Europe, slamming people with higher energy bills.
The numbers are shocking. In Spain and Portugal, average wholesale power prices are around triple their level half a year ago at €175 per megawatt-hour.
EU countries trade electricity on wholesale markets where the goal is to cover the energy demand for every single hour of the following day. The markets follow a marginal model, which means the final price of electricity for the following day is pegged to the price of the most expensive fuel required to meet projected demand. When the expected demand exceeds the supply capable of being generated by clean power, costly fossil fuels have to be used to meet demand, and the price of power is pegged to that value.
Access to energy must be considered a public good. In the last years, The Left has pushed forward this demand at the European Parliament: energy poverty is an old problem, and it has its roots in the dangerous liberalization policies promoted and carried out by the European Commission. Energy poverty is closely related to job insecurity, social inequality, and exclusion, and has gendered impact . Once again when left to the market to decide, corporate greed emerges with all its might putting at great risk climate and social justice.
We need affordable clean energy for all, and this is reachable and possible if the European Commission and the Member States decide to side with the people and not with the profit.
The big French energy companies (Total, Engie, EDF) paid € 9.55 billion in dividends to their shareholders this year, by taking only 10% of this exorbitant amount, the State could pay € 273 to each of the 3.5 million households in energy poverty.
Faced with this dramatic situation there are short-term measures that can be taken immediately: directive 2019/944 recognizes “that the Member States may apply public intervention in pricing electricity supply to domestic consumers in situations of energy poverty or vulnerability”. Some States are already taking action in this direction, but this is not enough. The system is rigged in favor of the corporate elites and the European Commission is siding once again with them, allowing the market to decide on people’s destiny.