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02 Jun 2020, 13:26
Freja Eriksen

German metal-processing industry calls for common European industry power price

Handelsblatt

The German industry federation for metal-processing companies, WVMetalle, is calling for an EU-wide industry power price, writes Klaus Stratmann in business daily Handelsblatt. The lobby group represents one of the country's most energy-intensive industries and argues that companies suffer under higher power prices than their European competitors. "Permanently competitive electricity prices are a necessary prerequisite for being able to continue to produce in Germany," Roland Leder, WVMetalle president, told the Handelsblatt. The lobby group's concept for a European industry power price would create planning security and long-term stability for investments, including in climate-friendly processes, he argued. The conservative CDU/CSU's parliamentary group in May stated in a position paper on the European Green Deal to support the introduction of a European industry power price. Felix Matthes from the Institute for Applied Ecology, however, told Handelsblatt a regulated power price "would be a step backwards" towards a world of entirely politically regulated power prices.

Power prices paid by industrial companies are one of the most contentious aspects of Germany's energy transition and its economic implications. Business lobby groups routinely warn that the high price of electricity is a central threat to industrial competitiveness. But sweeping claims in this debate hide the fact that there is no single power price for industrial consumers, and instead an exceptionally broad range of prices. Due to a complex system of taxes and levies, they depend on how much electricity companies need, at what time they need it, how they source it, whether they compete with rivals abroad, and many other factors.

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