«From a political point of view we are facing an important agreement because it puts an end to a discussion that lasted ten months. Whether this measure works remains to be seen». Speaking Simone Tagliapietra, senior fellow of the Bruegel Institute and professor at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. He does so a few hours after the European agreement on the gas price ceiling: the Twenty-seven have agreed on the limit of 180 euros per megawatt hour.
Tagliapietra, will the mechanism be able to stop the flow of methane?«The final impact remains to be demonstrated. There are several clauses necessary for this mechanism to take place and safeguard clauses that can make it stop if there are any side effects. Indeed, this mechanism may never be activated.
Yet, it was enough to talk about it for the cost on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange to drop…«The hope is that a political signal will be given to the market. However, the physical problem remains».
What does it mean?«Europe will have a very important problem next year: to grab all the gas it will need in a 2023 when Russian methane will not be available. We will depend a lot on LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), and much will be linked to what is happening in China. More than the price, the problem will be having sufficient energy supplies».
Is it possible that next winter will be more difficult than this one?«That next winter will be as complicated as this is by now established: whether it will be more difficult depends on us. If we continue to keep consumption low, if we continue the agreements with Algeria and the other supplier countries, then we will have a better position. The energy crisis does not end this year and this must always be kept in mind».
If the price ceiling had been adopted ten months ago, when Mario Draghi asked for it?«It is always very complicated to make history with ifs. Surely then it would have made sense to put it on Russian gas, a country that has cut off 80% of our supplies without us having ever considered the possibility of sanctioning it. If we had put a ceiling in March, at least we could have limited Putin’s income a little”.