IndustriAll Europe expects a comprehensive reform that supports a Just Transition by bringing the benefits of decarbonisation to households, communities and industry.

Industrial workers demand a prudent, comprehensive revision of the EU’s energy regulatory framework providing for an immediate and global response to the multiple crises that Europe is facing. It must also deliver on the implementation of the European Green Deal through a Just Transition with and for workers.

The energy price crisis has not only revealed the structural errors of the current electricity market model, but also the trailing roll-out of decarbonised electricity infrastructure.

Despite the current relief of electricity prices, future shocks are likely. The Commission’s proposal of 14 March 2023, while offering some interesting provisions, fails to bring about the necessary, profound revision.

IndustriAll Europe calls on the EU institutions to engage in a thorough assessment of the options for a deep, structural reform of the electricity market design. The final design must enable the EU economy to achieve the net-zero transition, provide abundant, low-carbon electricity at stable, predictable, and affordable prices, to stop and reverse the trend of deindustrialisation while maintaining high-quality industrial employment in Europe.
In our recently adopted position paper, industriAll Europe calls for five fundamental principles to guide a deep structural reform necessary to address current and future price shocks:

  1. The electricity regulatory framework must defend energy as a right and public good, promote social and territorial cohesion as well as long-term environmental targets.
    • The reform should introduce a concrete right for household consumers to receive a guaranteed supply offer that protects them from electricity price volatility and energy shortages and covers their basic needs.
    • The retail price system must guarantee the basic needs of consumers and businesses at regulated, stable and affordable prices.
    • The revised regulatory framework must support the Green Deal, incentivise private investments and energy savings.
  2. Access to abundant, decarbonised electricity at predictable, stable and affordable prices is a precondition for the competitiveness of European industry and to prevent deindustrialisation.
    • Crucial investments in decarbonising our industry must be enabled by the revision.
    • The price-setting mechanism on the wholesale spot markets, based on the merit order system, is outdated, as wholesale prices do not reflect real production costs of electricity. IndustriAll Europe therefore demands a decoupling of gas prices from setting electricity wholesale prices.
    • We must refrain from closing crucial controllable electricity production without compromising the safety of installations.
  3. Long-term contracts must support much needed investments in low-carbon electricity infrastructure.
    • Contracts for Difference (CfDs) and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are important to support price predictability but must be well designed and stimulate investment.
    • Incentives and support schemes should treat all renewable technologies equally.
    • Companies benefiting from public support schemes, such as CfDs, must be responsible for securing sites and committed to collective bargaining and ensuring quality employment.
  4. The reformed electricity regulatory framework must be based on solidarity within the EU.
    • We need a framework that supports the self sufficiency of electricity supply across the EU and every Member State has a responsibility to meet essential demand by providing the critical electricity production.
    • To promote solidarity, we support the establishment of a strictly independent EU Energy Agency responsible for the coherent management of the energy markets, long-term planning of generation and networks, and the promotion of joint, long-term energy purchasing.
  5. The reformed electricity regulatory framework needs strong safeguards against speculators and unjust profiteering.
    • We support a permanent progressive system of windfall taxes that is designed in a way to not hamper critical investments.
    • A strictly independent EU Energy Agency must also monitor and investigate speculative behaviour on the markets.

IndustriAll Europe expects a comprehensive reform that supports a Just Transition by bringing the benefits of decarbonisation to households, communities and industry.