EU electricity prices: Will 2024 mark the end of national tariff shields?
(EurActiv, 25 Jan 2024) Electricity prices on the EU wholesale market have been on a downward trend in recent months, a development some governments see as an opportunity to remove subsidies introduced in response to the energy crisis, while others see as a bad signal for the energy transition.
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 saw energy bills soar, with many national governments introducing state aid measures to shield their citizens from the worst of the spike.
However, almost two years on, and with wholesale electricity prices falling back to pre-war levels, things are returning to normality – and energy subsidy measures are being wrapped up across Europe.
In France, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, who is now also in charge of energy issues, announced earlier this month that household electricity bills would rise by an average of just under 10% by 1 February 2024.
This increase follows the gradual reintroduction of a tax that had been reduced from €32 per megawatt-hour (€/MWh) to just €1 at the time of the crisis.
On 1 February, it will rise to back up, to €21/MWh. According to Le Maire, this will enable subsidies for producing renewable energy, energy vouchers for the most vulnerable households, and tariff equivalents for overseas territories and Corsica.