MADRID (AP) — The Spanish government on Friday approved a plan aimed at reining in soaring energy costs, signing off on a temporary cap on natural gas prices that it said would immediately reduce the amount paid by a third of consumers and 70% of industry. As energy prices rise across Europe, which is exacerbated in Russia’s war in Ukraine , Spain joined forces with Portugal earlier this year to request the European Union’s executive arm to allow them the flexibility to circumvent the EU’s common market rules.
Citing the large amounts of renewable energy used in both countries and their scant connections with the European power grid, the European Commission agreed to allow a price cap on gas used for power generation, averaging around 50 euros per megawatt-hour for the next 12 months.
Spanish Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera said the measure would protect both consumers and businesses as Europe grapples with volatile energy prices that are driving record inflation. Ribera stated that this is the first time that it’s not the ordinary people who are paying for it. “The measures adopted are fundamentally aimed at reducing the extraordinary profits of energy companies so that this adjustment benefits all of us.”
She said the Portuguese government also would approve the same mea