December 4, 2022

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From January 30% more than Germany, 75% more than Spain

Italy pays the most expensive electricity in Europe. Comparing the data on energy exchange in the European Union, the result is interesting: since the beginning of the year, our country has spent an average of 30% more than Germany, 10% more than France, tormented by the closure of nuclear power plants, and even 75% more than neighboring Spain, which It has found its way since mid-June instead to curb the energy rush. Madrid has managed to cool down prices with a national cap on gas used to produce electricity, thanks to its isolation from the European Union’s energy interconnection system. Spanish families and businesses have benefited greatly. The mechanism worked. Not surprisingly, this is exactly the model that has emerged in recent weeks among proposed EU gas caps: a kind of “decoupling”, a way to get rid of prices for energy produced from renewable sources, much cheaper, than gas prices now under constant attack by speculation. .
Italy, in the midst of the EU’s gas pipeline system, could not set its own national gas cap because it would have ended up selling the benefits abroad as well, with buyers going where the price is lowest. So, our country, which is highly dependent on exports and with half its electricity produced from gas, is still hostage to the rise of the Ttf market in Amsterdam.

split EU bills

This has been the case for years, to be honest, to have a higher bill, it’s nothing new today. But since the energy crisis exploded, this spread with the rest of Europe, including Germany, has become a mountain of billions of euros for Italy (the pre-pandemic country’s energy bill of 87 billion is now heavy with another 110 billion), of which households and companies have lasted for more than a year, on Despite the nearly 60 billion that the Draghi government has put in place for expensive energy.
In 2019, according to the GME website, there were only 15 euros per megawatt-hour that kept Italy away from Germany (52 versus 37 euros, respectively), 13 against France and less than 5 euros from Spain.
A lot has changed since then. After a year of premium gas-led prices, Rome finds itself farther from Berlin to nearly €77, five times the price based on the average price updated to date (322 € per MWh for our country despite a drop in weeks). recent), according to the Energy Live platform. With Madrid the difference is up to 138 euros per megawatt-hour. On the other hand, Paris pays only 28 euros less than us. After all, in August, in the days of highs reached throughout Europe, the wholesale prices of French electricity for 2023 reached more than 1,000 euros per megawatt-hour (while Italy traveled more than 700 euros).

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Competitiveness

Between the drought and the closing of nearly half the factories, even Paris had given up. But for families and businesses, the increase in electricity and gas cannot exceed 4%, according to what the French government approved at the beginning of the year, which will confirm aid in 2023.
However, such deep price differences lead to another heavy spread between different European countries. Paris has put about 45 billion euros on the table so far to stem the energy crisis and reduce its impact on families. While Spain has spent less than 30 billion euros and can offer the lowest prices in Europe in its home market, along with Portugal and Poland. Germany just announced, as is known, the maximum plan of 200 billion, added to the approximately 60 spent. First of all, the German state will pay the monthly gas bill for December for all households and small and medium-sized businesses, under a phased two-step cap on energy prices recommended by the government. Then, in 2023, the state will cover 80% of gas consumption last year which exceeds 12, compared to the current 20-30 cents per kilowatt, for private customers and small and medium-sized businesses.

Possible measures

This means being able to face lower prices from Italy with an entirely different firepower. For Italian companies that have seen the weight of energy on production costs double to 10%, this has become unacceptable. It is as if a new round of “fake” cards has begun in the competitive game between European companies. That is why the president of the Confederation of Industry, Carlo Bonomi, asked for “40-50 billion” to secure the economy. It can be found in “thousands or even billions of public spending”, he said: “4-5% of the total can be reconstituted and needs to be done.” However, if there is no European response, Bonomi insisted, “We need additional deficits to save business. It is a matter of national security. The president is proposing moderate prices up to a certain level of consumption. The hope is that Germany will realize first and foremost that the slowdown in output The GDP in Italy or in a part of Europe does not suit anyone.The opening of Berlin to a European fund, modeled on the pandemic to be sure, opens an important window on the threshold of a difficult winter.

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