A German minister has warned that the European Union must be “extremely careful” about capping gas prices

Anna Luhrmann, Germany’s minister of state for Europe, warned that the EU must be “extremely careful” about imposing a price cap on all gas imports entering the bloc.

The idea of ​​setting a gas cap at the EU level gained momentum In recent weeks after prices broke new records in August and pushed electricity bills to unsustainable heights.

Italy, Belgium, Greece, Sweden and Poland are among those supporting the initiative, which is still in its early stages.

But Germany, the EU’s largest gas consumer and economy, remains opposed, believing the measure could scare off suppliers and threaten the bloc’s security of supplies.

“The problem with price caps is that: if you introduce a price cap, as the EU is one-sided, and all other consumers around the world don’t do it, the gas will go to other consumers, so we may have a short supply of gas,” he said. Luhrmann to Euronews in an interview.

“So, I think we have to be very careful with these kinds of price caps and do everything we can to diversify our supply structure. It will also help address price issues.”

Luhrmann said that instead of imposing a horizontal cap on gas imports, the EU should deal directly with major gas suppliers and negotiate lower prices.

“It will be important for us to discuss with individual gas suppliers, such as Norway, ways to lower the price because they have a great interest in the EU and the European market,” the minister said.

“But in general, there is no substitute for actually finding ways of how we can use energy more efficiently and how we can build a sustainable energy system [based] Mainly on renewable sources.

Norway, which replaced Russia this year as the EU’s main gas supplier, said it was “skeptical” about setting a price cap but was open to finding solutions. The country’s trade surplus receipt It is an all-time high of around €20 billion in August, mostly due to higher gas prices.

The European Commission is studying the potential risks of this measure, including its impact on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, and not submitted yet Formal proposal for ministers to discuss.

For now, the EU’s emergency package will focus on three components: providing electricity during peak hours, a cap on excess revenue generated by non-gaseous power plants (such as wind, solar and nuclear) and a windfall tax on the surplus. Profits of fossil fuel companies.

The overall goal is to curb demand while raising additional funds for governments.

“We can use these surpluses and return them to consumers and citizens, especially those in need, so that we lower prices for them,” Luhrmann said.

The minister, who is from the Greens, said the new EU measures were a “very good” starting point but should be complemented by an additional effort at the national level to promote renewables.

She said, “I am absolutely convinced that if we follow them, we [can] We managed to get through this winter and also create the conditions to make our economies sustainable without Russian energy supplies.”

EU energy ministers are due to meet on September 30 to discuss and give the green light to emergency measures.

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