Tomorrow's European Council will mark an important part of the upcoming Spanish presidency as it will serve to lay the groundwork for some of the key issues currently on the energy market such as the development of hydrogen and renewable gases, as well as the reform of the wholesale market.
EU Energy Ministers will seek general guidance on the decarbonized hydrogen and gas market package. The European Commission's proposal aims to increase the use of these gases, while decreasing the use of natural gas.
The gas market package includes proposals to revise the directive on common rules for renewable gas, natural gas and hydrogen, and the ordinance on internal markets for the above gases, as the use of natural gas must decrease for the EU to reach climate neutrality by 2050.
At the Council meeting, ministers will also discuss the proposal for electricity market design reform presented by the Commission on March 14. The Commission has identified the impact of high gas prices on electricity prices as a vulnerability in the current market design. The proposal on the table aims to increase the resilience and stability of the energy market in the face of short-term price volatility and to boost investment in renewable energy. The purpose of the discussion will be to guide future work on the proposal in the Council, which aims to be finalized before the end of 2023.
The Council is also expected to adopt a political agreement on the Commission's proposal to extend the Council Regulation on coordinated measures to reduce gas consumption by 15% in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine as proposed by the Commission on March 20, and will address preparations for next winter.