EU produces record wind and solar energy as it shirks Russian gas debts
The move comes days after the EU’s own renewables targets were revised in response to surging gas prices and Russia’s threat to block supplies of Europe’s biggest supplier of energy to Europe’s biggest economy.
“We are very disappointed with the lack of a decision on whether the gas price cap should be maintained or reversed at the latest talks,” said the German environment minister, a member of the Energiewende steering committee.
The energy minister of Austria, meanwhile, said that Austria is also considering a potential reversal on the gas price cap.
The French energy and environment minister said on Monday that the EU’s renewables targets can be “easily” altered depending on the price of gas.
Europe’s energy chief on Tuesday also expressed disappointment that nothing had been decided on the cap.
“We are in discussions and we expect to come with a decision at the end of the week,” said the EU’s energy commissioner, Guenther Oettinger.
“We had to get a better grip on the costs of the gas contracts [in order] not to leave the target out in the cold. If the EU states are not going to commit themselves to a higher level of payments, this would mean we need to go back to the drawing board.”
The EU’s goal is to use a greater proportion of renewables by the year 2020.
In the past 10 months, the Energiewende has been marked by a flurry of meetings, phone calls and emails as member states, the European Commission and Brussels’ own civil service have fought to agree on just how much the EU should be willing to pay for each kilowatt hour of renewable energy produced.
On Friday morning, the EU summit held by the European Council gave the green light to the plans – as long as the gas price cap was in place.
However, despite being formally confirmed as the price-cap’s price floor, the European Commission will formally not change the cap’s level for another two weeks, to allow for a new round