The large electricity companies unsuccessfully challenge the Government’s cut to part of the ‘benefits fallen from the sky’

The great electrics have tried unsuccessfully challenge the cut of the Government to the ‘benefits from heaven’ received by nuclear, hydraulic and renewable power plants for the rise in the price of natural gas. The National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) has inadmissible appeals filed by Iberdrola, naturgy Y Repsol against the invoices issued by Red Eléctrica to apply the tax.

The three electricity companies have presented their respective “conflicts of economic management & rdquor; before the regulator by arguing, without entering to assess the specific amount to paythat the practice of reduction is contrary to the Constitution and European law. The companies defend that no matter how much the Government alludes in the norm to an alleged excess of remuneration “there is absolutely no unearned gain by facilities that do not generate greenhouse gases no dysfunction in it energy compensation system in the framework of wholesale market that justifies a intervention of public powers & rdquor ;.

And they assure that the application of the reduction is contrary to the “marginalist model” and it affects the operation of the price formation mechanism itself.” “As the reduction is calculated monthly and not in real time, it becomes a direct variable cost that these technologies have to internalize, while their income depends on the matching price of the hourly auction of the ‘pool’”, expose the companies. Therefore, they ask that they be issued “a negative invoice or credit for the amount & rdquor; of the invoices presented and that “there are no more reductions & rdquor ;.

But the CNMC has inadmissible the conflict when considering that “it is not an ideal procedure to pursue the challenge -even indirect or incidental- of a regulatory norm (either from the CNMC itself or from any other Administration) & rdquor ;. “This argument is even more evident when what is sought is the challenge of a rule with the force of law, as is the case in this case,” explains the regulator.

In other words, the body chaired by Cani Fernández concludes the inadmissibility of applications considering them lacking legal basis and adds that Red Eléctrica limits itself to applying the mechanism designed by the Government “and it also does correctly”. The resolution exhaust the administrative routebut the companies can appeal the decision before the Administrative Litigation Chamber of the National High Court within a period of two months.

Endorsement of the European Commission

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Created on September 14, before the elevated increase in natural gas pricesthis ‘tax’ intends temporarily reduce extraordinary income of some power generation plants by the crazy rise in natural gas prices. The norm was amended twice, the first one a month after its creation, to exclude fixed-price contracts from it, after criticism from the electricity companies that alleged that most of their electricity had been sold with fixed-term contracts; and a second a few weeks ago, when the Government tightened the measure to extend the tax to those contracts with a fixed price above the 67 euros per megawatt-hour (the equivalent of a price of 20 euros megawatt-hour for gas, which is the historical average price of this raw material).

Spain has received endorsement of the European Commission, which has included this standard in its ‘toolbox’ of measures to deal with the rise in energy prices due to the war in Ukraine (Repower EU) by recommending its creation to all member states. “The European Union, the European Council and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have said that exist benefits fallen from heaven, it is not that Spain says it or that we invent it, but that it is a evidence& rdquor ;, sources from the Government assured after knowing the community proposal.

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