ATHENS – The European Commission should set up an 80-billion-euro fund to deal with the fallout from high natural gas prices, Environment & Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas proposed to EU officials.
Skrekas made the proposal ahead of the Ministers of Energy Emergency Council on Friday, in a letter to Executive Vice-President of the European Commisison for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans and Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson.
The minister said the fund would be supported by a special fee of 10 euros per thermal MWh that should be imposed on European power producers for the amount of natural gas the use to produce electricity. The funds would go to support vulnerable households and small and medium-sized enterprises over high natural gas prices, alternative fuel investments, and to cover emergency needs of producers who are trying to replace Russian natural gas.
The fee would generate 9 billion euros annually throughout the EU, based on 2021 consumption figures. A low-interest-rate loan of 80 billion euros by the European Investment Bank to start with could be gradually paid off by the annual 9 billion euros, according to the proposal.