The European Union faces the arrival of next winter “as prepared as can be expected”, as assured by the Director General of Energy of the European Commission, Ditte Juul Joergensen, despite the persistence of the energy crisis aggravated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the risk of other factors outside of European control, such as the expected rebound in demand from China.

“We are as prepared as can be expected. As for next winter and the following ones,” the community official assured in her speech at an event organized by the Nueva Economía Forum. “We have done all our homework,” she summarized.

In this sense, Joergensen stressed that the EU now has the necessary tools to better address the crisis and the necessary infrastructure to import the LNG that is needed, in addition to having at this point a very high level of stored fuel.

“We are going to arrive next winter at the top of gas and with much higher levels of renewable energy in our system,” he stressed, adding that the investments made will help to be safer and more efficient in energy matters, including the mechanism for joint purchases of gas that gives the EU a much more competitive position in the market.

However, the Danish has stressed that Europe is still immersed in an energy crisis in which the problems of last year still exist, for which reason it has urged to continue saving energy and be more efficient in its consumption.

Likewise, it has warned that there are other factors outside of European control, such as the evolution of Chinese demand, which is expected to increase strongly after the reopening at the end of the restrictions due to Covid-19, although there has not yet been a significant increase, as well as the risk to critical infrastructures.

“We are as prepared as we can be, but we are going to remain vigilant and carefully use the energy we have and accelerate the deployment of renewables to continue being in a safe position,” he added.

On the other hand, the European official has highlighted the need to introduce “some adjustments” in the design of the European electricity market, stressing the importance of combining certain certainty for investors and consumer protection regarding price volatility.

“We have a very good design of the market, but the current design, perhaps it needs some adjustments”, he defended in reference to the strong volatility of prices caused last year by the gas crisis, as well as the impact of some of the short-term measures introduced at the national level that could question the functioning of the market and create certain uncertainties.

Thus, Joergensen has deemed a more common response to challenges necessary to protect consumers against volatility in short-term price increases and also create some certainty for investors.

“What we want is to create a market that is more predictable, more stable, where prices are more stable”, he stated, referring to suppliers knowing that they will have a correct return to be able to continue investing and access the capital they need, but also to favor consumers, even industrial consumers, so that they can have predictability about what the cost of their energy will be.

Likewise, it has indicated that other elements have also been suggested that should be included in the design of the electricity market to encourage renewables and address their complexity, since it is a somewhat intermittent supply, as well as regarding the use and consumption of gas , which has dropped a lot thanks to the measures adopted, but also because the prices were very high.

“Now that prices have gone down, there is a risk that gas demand will go up again in that context and we have to make sure that we have a correct framework so that consumers also go for renewable energy and not so much for gas” , has defended.

In this regard, the Danish recalled that the introduction of a cap on income was a necessary measure in the crisis because prices were too high and households and companies were suffering greatly.

“Now we are analyzing whether there is a need for these measures to remain in force or not. The price situation now is very different from what it was last year,” he pointed out, adding that the suggested changes in the design of the electricity market seek offer more structural solutions.

“We are going to analyze this issue within that context and we are going to put forward a proposal in the coming months as to whether it is really worth maintaining this measure or whether the most structural response in the design of the electricity market is the most appropriate,” it is finished.

Likewise, the Director General for Energy of the European Commission has pointed out the importance of designing the electricity market when it comes to attracting investors to Europe, particularly in the renewable energy sector, as well as the need to speed up the procedures for granting licenses and reduce the bottlenecks.

“The most important aspect is to make sure that we have a stable investment climate, because if we create uncertainties about where we are going, in terms of the legal framework, then that will scare away investors,” he said.

On the other hand, regarding the legislation approved in the United States, the Danish considers it good news that the world’s largest economy is investing in the green transition and that it is involved in the war against climate change.

In this sense, he stressed that the investments that are now taking place in the United States are going to help reduce costs and innovate, which is positive in itself and is very similar to what the EU is doing with the ‘Green Deal’ .

“Now, the big difference between what the United States is doing and what we are doing is that the United States has set certain domestic requirements,” the official pointed out. “There are aspects of this law that are discriminatory and this is a problem,” she added.

On these differences, therefore, he has underlined the need to continue dialogue with the United States to try to address this problem that guarantees a level playing field for all actors. “We are working with them to try to address those points and we hope that it will be possible to do so,” she added.