The industry warns of the impact of the fund that will tax fuels more

Petroleum platform. / CR

The Sustainability Fund project, which the Government promotes to reduce the electricity bill at the expense of the oil companies, will come to light after the summer

Jose Maria Waiter

The large industrial companies have raised their voices in the face of what appears to be an imminent final processing of the National Fund for the Sustainability of the Electric System (FNSSE), a measure with which the Government intends to reduce the electricity bill in exchange for increase the payments that companies linked to oil have to make. That was the idea of ​​this rule against which part of the business corporations are showing themselves against because "it can be a serious blow to an already heavily punished gas-intensive industry and that is struggling to keep its activity and employment afloat in the worst context possible", as indicated by GasIndustrial.

This organization considers that the new fund "will cause a cross-subsidization of costs between the different final consumers." "Contributions to the gas sector will increase each year to reach 1,200 million euros, which in the five-year term will add up to a total of more than 3,500 million euros, harshly penalizing the gas-intensive industrial consumer," argues GasIndustrial.

The Spanish Gas Association (Sedigas) has also pointed out "the negative consequences" and reiterates its assessment of disagreement with the Sustainability Fund proposal. Likewise, it regrets that its potential approval "occurs in an accelerated manner in an extraordinarily complex energy situation and with still uncertain implications." The initiative is now especially "inexplicable and inopportune", according to Sedigás. The organization appeals to the political groups that participate in the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge Commission to "rethink the suitability" of its parliamentary process.

The final approval of the Fund, if it occurs, would come in the worst possible scenario with record fuel costs. The measure plans to extract from the electricity bill the costs associated with premiums for historical renewables, cogeneration and waste (Recore) and progressively transfer them to all energy sectors over a period of five years. Basically, to the companies that pollute the most, such as the oil companies.

At the end of 2020, the Executive approved this fund with which it intends to reduce the electricity bill by 13% in the next five years after removing premiums for renewables from the fixed costs of the bill. This financing, which amounts to 7,000 million euros corresponding to the investments made in the first part of the century, will now be nourished with contributions from energy marketers. The Ministry for the Ecological Transition estimated at the time that if the fixed costs of the electricity bill for domestic consumers were not created, they could increase by around 10%, which would mean an average rise in the bill of around 6.5%. in a single year.

At that time, and on several occasions on a recurring basis, companies such as Repsol (one of the most affected) have been against it. The CEO of the company, Josu Jon Imaz, considers that this tool is intended to "pay the funds, in some cases speculative" and "electric parties." Imaz has indicated that "in life it is important to go with transparency ahead" and has made it clear that, in his opinion, this fund is not intended to finance renewables, but rather "to pay investment funds, in many speculative cases", which invested in Spain in the past in renewable energies that were not yet competitive, as well as "the dividends of the electric companies and their past mistakes".

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