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EU energy ministers strike deal on electricity market reform

A transmission tower stands on a field in the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany, as the sunrises on June 6, 2023.
A transmission tower stands on a field in the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany, as the sunrises on June 6, 2023. Copyright Michael Probst/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Michael Probst/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews
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EU energy ministers reached a long-awaited agreement on Tuesday on the so-called electricity market reform, aimed at protecting consumers from volatile prices and speeding up the deployment of renewables.

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Talks had stalled for months due to a standoff between France and Germany over so-called Contracts for Difference (CfDs), long-term contracts that would allow governments to capture the surplus revenues from energy producers when prices spike.

France wanted nuclear power, on which its energy market is heavily reliant, to be included in the CfDs, but Berlin feared Paris was aiming to give its industry an unfair competitive advantage.

Both sides reached a compromise, a week after French President Emmanuel Macron met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Hamburg to address their differences.

The reform, which still needs to be negotiated with the European Parliament, promises to give the EU electricity markets long-term stability, whilst preventing unexpected spikes in consumer bills.

"I am proud to say that today we have taken a strategic step forward for the future of the EU. We have achieved an agreement that would have seen unimaginable only a couple of years ago," Teresa Ribera Rodríguez, Spain's minister for the ecological transition, said.

"Thanks to this agreement, consumers across the EU will be able to benefit from much more stable prices of energy, less dependency on the price of fossil fuels and better protection from future crises. We will also accelerate the deployment of renewables, a cheaper and cleaner source of energy for our citizens," she added.

The revamp of the electricity market was proposed by the European Commission in March to contain spiralling energy prices as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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