Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
VRT News | Energy crisis: "Opportunity to leap forward" says Mr De Croo, 4 Sep dont-say-fuel
Mr De Croo conceded the situation was now serious. Rising energy prices form a threat to the economy. The premier insists any cap on gas prices needs to be agreed at the European level. European energy ministers meet next Friday.

The premier expressed his anger at the fact that Europe had failed to act with speed. Belgium alone can't sort it he noted: "At long last the European commission is now signalling comprehension: citizens need to be protected".
The Belgian leader has been accused of fuelling panic by suggesting the next five to ten winters will be difficult. Mr De Croo refused to withdraw his words: "This is the reality. If we can get a grip on this, we're in for five difficult years. If we fail due to poor policies, it's ten difficult years. As a country and as a continent we can sort it, if we get all our ducks in a row. We can leap forward twenty years by loosening ties with fossil fuels and countries we prefer not to trade with"

"Our reliance on Russian gas has already decreased enormously.  We thought it would take years. If we do a good job, it will be a matter of months. During these months we will do our utmost to the chart a course through the crisis for everybody. People need to understand this is a temporary [?] solution. We won't leave people in the cold or allow them to lose their jobs. We will take action".
The Plan
belgium.be | A federal crisis plan to COMBAT soaring energy prices, 2 Sep
The federal government has decided to extend the support measures (VAT reduction and social rate for one million households) to cope with the explosive increase in energy prices. The banks are committed to protecting the most affected families. Measures will be taken to skim off [dont-say-tax] the industry's excess[?] profits to finance a solidarity fund. The government also calls on Belgians and companies to reduce their consumption and set a good example....
The problem = prices
The current wholesale prices for gas and electricity are so disproportionately high that market intervention is required. In Asia, the wholesale price of LNG is € 150/MWh and in [*-]America € 30/MWh. There is no reason why gas prices in Europe (€ 300/MWh) should disproportionally higher, when transport [from WHERE? HOW?] to Europe only costs a few euros per MWh.

Like the high gas price, the wholesale price of electricity no longer reflects the [power plant] production cost of [distributing] electricity. A great deal of energy is generated by (renewable and nuclear) plants that do not face rising fuel costs. In Europe, there is a wide chasm between the actual costs and current prices. This means the market is no longer functioning. ...

archived "Our sanctions don't affect ..."
by Cat on Mon Sep 5th, 2022 at 08:18:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MENAFN | Jonas Gahr Store to Ursula vdL, 13 Sep
"A maximum price does not change the fundamental issue that there is a gas shortage in Europe."
by Cat on Tue Sep 13th, 2022 at 06:06:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | EU's von der Leyen rows back on plans to cap [EU RUSSIAN EMBARGO] fossil gas prices, 14 Sep
In her annual State of the Union speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday (14 September), Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said negotiation would be a more efficient way to lower gas prices, which are set on the global market.
by Cat on Wed Sep 14th, 2022 at 05:39:12 PM EST
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APsplainin EU chief wants to tap excess producer profits, 14 Sep *-English
A top European Union official unveiled a plan Wednesday to cap the revenue [dont-say-cost] of electricity producers [ENTSO-E operators?!] that are making extraordinary profits because of the effects [nth derivative] of Russia's war in Ukraine and climate change, saying the proposal could raise $140 billion [if enacted by EU27 parliaments] to help people hit by spiraling energy prices.
archived "Our sanctions don't affect ..."
"Russia keeps actively manipulating our [global?] energy [dont-say-fuel] market," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told EU lawmakers in Strasbourg, France. "So, this market is not functioning anymore."
O RLY? What is perfect competition?  inna HFT forward contract "environment"? Possibly, a (tight|loose|flex) PANDEMIC labor.market(workforce size)?
"These companies are making revenues they never accounted for, they never even dream[ed] of," von der Leyen said. "In these times, it is wrong to receive extraordinary record revenues and profits benefiting from war and on the back of consumers."
archived 1973-1974 "oil crisis" and anteKyoto Jimmy Carter freedom molecules
During her State of the European Union address to the EU assembly, attended by Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensk*, von der Leyen said company "profits must be shared [dont-say-tax] and channeled to those who need it the most.[dont-say-subsidy]"
Most of the money would come by setting a price cap [sic] on electricity produced through renewable energy sources and nuclear power ["inframarginal technology"] of 180 euros [DOWN from €200!] per megawatt hour, less than half the current price. EU countries would also collect a "solidarity contribution" [dont-say-tax] from oil, gas[,] and coal refineries [?!] earning 20% more [operating, EBITDA, or "net"?] profit than they averaged over the last three years.

With [EU] Russia [EMBARGO] tightening the natural gas ["Nordstrom"] taps, demand for gas and electricity also must be reduced, even if reserves of the fuel are on average 84% full across the EU. Capping [EU retail] prices [to subsidize EU "energy" trading] will not draw down use [O RLY?], so the European Commission also wants people HH rate-payers to consume less [so "energy intensive" industries can consume more], particularly during peak [1st shift] hours. ....

by Cat on Wed Sep 14th, 2022 at 07:05:21 PM EST
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by Cat on Wed Sep 14th, 2022 at 10:43:50 PM EST
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BrusselsTimes.com | Doel 3: Shutdown confirmed for Friday despite politicians' pleas, 23 Sep inframarginal price cap foo(demand)
...In spite of this, the Doel 1 and 2, as well as the Tihange 1 reactors (that started producing power in 1985) were allowed to extend their operations until 2025....
by Cat on Sat Sep 24th, 2022 at 07:22:42 PM EST
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They'll have to restart more coal fueled power plants.
by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Sep 26th, 2022 at 08:14:26 AM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 26th, 2022 at 08:33:14 AM EST
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Perhaps recognizing nuclear safety regulations are imperative?

Belgium shuts down nuclear reactor over suspected vessel cracking | Bellona - Aug. 10, 2012 |

But the wear and tear on one of its reactor vessel is an alarming sign for at least three other European countries and possibly more worldwide, all of which purchased vessels from the same now-bankrupt Dutch manufacturer.

Nils Bøhmer, Bellona's general director and nuclear physicist said that similar problem will begin to appear worldwide due to ageing nuclear reactors, whose average lifespan is about 30 years.

The wear and tear observed in Beligium, said Bøhmer, "is something that comes of neutron radiation from power generation" within the reactor core that is housed by the vessel.

"This will, as reactors get older, cause cracks," in reactor vessels said Bøhmer.

The 1,006 MW Doel No 3 reactor, operated by GDF Suez unit Electrabel, is scheduled to close in 10 years according to the nuclear exit plan the Belgian government adopted in July. A pressurized water reactor, it went into service in 1982.

The suspected fractures at the reactor, 25 kilometers  north of Antwerp near the Dutch border, which provides a sixth of Belgium's nuclear-generated power, do not pose any health and safety threat, said AFCN, the country's nuclear watchdog.

Some 9 million people live within a 75 kilometer radius of the plant.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Sep 26th, 2022 at 08:35:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
euractiv | LEAK: Brussels floats ["non-paper"] for capping gas [explosion] prices, 29 Sep
w"Establishing the appropriate level for the cap would be a challenging exercise due to internal and global market dynamics and entailing risks from the point of view of security of supply," the non-paper reads. "Furthermore, the risk of triggering supply disruptions from third-countries supplies is higher for a generalised wholesale price cap than it is for a price cap on the imports of pipeline gas."
Once again, it advocates for a cap on Russian gas imports, which currently make up 9% of EU supply
nope. Try again.
The European Commission says it is ready to discuss developing a temporary EU framework to limit the influence [?] of high gas prices on electricity prices.
Other ideas include engaging with "reliable supply partners" to reach a "common understanding" on reducing prices and a new "transactions-based LNG benchmark" to encourage more accurate pricing.
oh. prix fixe Nordic NG and US LNG racketeering for the world, now that EU's Russian gas pipes are empty. OK.
If this measure were to work, it would require creating a body at the EU level to replace the workings of the market and ensure gas is sent to places with scarce supply.

A price cap would also remove the financial incentive for consumers to reduce consumption, so there would need to be a "significantly more drastic" demand reduction framework, including curtailment, to address the increase in demand due to a lower price.

The EU would also need to find "significant financial resources" to attract gas to Europe if global gas prices are higher than The Cap™.

The Commission non-paper can be consulted below or downloaded here.

Politico.eu.com | Germany introduces €200 billion gas price cap to counter Russia's 'energy war', 29 Sep dont-say-EU-embargo
Under the proposed scheme, the state will set a limit for [retail] gas prices and pay the difference between that [retail] cap and what gas importers pay on the world market.
"We want to clearly separate crisis spending from our regular budget management," Lindner said, insisting that the German government remained committed to a conservative fiscal policy that aims to limit inflation, which is expected to reach 10 percent in Germany.

"We want to send a very clear signal to the capital markets: Even if we now use such a defensive umbrella, Germany will stick to its stability-oriented, sustainability-oriented fiscal policy," Lindner said, adding: "German government bonds remain the gold standard in the world."

Politico.eu.com | EU announces Russian oil price cap in NEW! sanctions plan, 29 Sep dont-say-zero
by Cat on Thu Sep 29th, 2022 at 01:50:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kawsachunnews | IMF Tells Bolivia to Drop its Successful Economic Model, 16 Sep
... The bulk of public investment is destined for infrastructure, while the majority of subsidies are for ensuring the price of fuel doesn't rise. Bolivia is the only country in the region to see no rise in fuel prices, a policy that has kept inflation at less than 2%, unlike the rest of South America.

The report even states that fuel prices must rise, and the inflation that would inevitably cause could be offset by cash-transfer [payments] programs for the poorest sectors, says the IMF: "The successful implementation of an increase in domestic fuel prices will require recycling a part of the budget savings in cash transfer programs aimed at the poorest deciles of the population."...

by Cat on Thu Sep 29th, 2022 at 02:01:49 PM EST
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oh. prix fixe Nordic NG and US LNG racketeering for the world, now that EU's Russian gas pipes are empty. OK.

Oh, so you're a neolib now? Don't like socialism? Planned market economies?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Sep 29th, 2022 at 02:52:49 PM EST
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Nooooo, I'm a silent member of teh EU Comish, antitrust division. mwahahahahahahahahha
by Cat on Thu Sep 29th, 2022 at 04:13:38 PM EST
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Politico.eu.com | German audit court slams Scholz's €200B gas price cap, 30 Sep
"'When money is drawn down from special funds, the state has to borrow. Ultimately, special funds, even if they are not called that, are federal debt,' the auditor's court president said."
by Cat on Sat Oct 1st, 2022 at 01:15:33 AM EST
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