The Government and the political groups advance in the design of the contingency plan

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The Government and the different parliamentary groups met this Thursday to negotiate the processing of the energy saving plan approved last week, as well as the proposals that will be taken to Brussels to face the crisis unleashed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

At the end of the meeting, the Third Vice President of the Government, Teresa Ribera, highlighted the “collaborative and consensual” tone of the meeting and also said it had been “constructive” when exchanging ideas and proposals that will be reflected in the final document.

The meeting, held at the headquarters of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge of which Ribera is the head, was also attended on behalf of the Government by the Minister of the Presidency, Relations with the Courts and Democratic Memory, Felix Bolaños, and the Secretary of State of Relations with the Courts and Constitutional Affairs, Rafael Simancas.

The meeting is part of the contacts that the Government is having with the main sectoral, social, political and civil society agents to promote the energy security contingency plan that it will send to the European Commission in the coming weeks.

The only group that has made statements both at the beginning and at the end of the meeting, in which a large part of the political formations have attended electronically, has been United We Can, which has shown its agreement with promoting a national strategy to reduce the energy consumption.

The purple formation, among other measures, has proposed the creation of a progressive electricity bill so that the one who consumes the most faces a higher expense, as well as the increase in registration taxes and the use of private planes, luxury cars and high displacement or large private pleasure boats.

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MEETINGS WITH THE ENERGY SECTOR

To finish outlining the plan that he will send to Europe throughout this month in Brussels within the community strategy to deal with the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ribera has also recently met with Enagás (BME: ENAG ), Redeia, Naturgy (BME: NTGY ), Iberdrola (BME: IBE ), the Spanish Gas Association (Sedigas) and the Association of Electric Power Companies (Aelec), of which Iberdrola, Endesa (BME: ELE ) and EDP ( ELI: EDP ).

For tomorrow, Friday, a Ribera meeting is scheduled with representatives of the Spanish Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration (Cogen) and the Spanish Association of Cogeneration (Acogen).

For her part, the Secretary of State for Energy, Sara Aagesen, will meet this Friday with associations from both the renewable sector (AEE, Anpier, APPA Renovables, UNEF and Protermosolar) and the electricity sector (A3e, AMI, Anerr, Anese, Conaif and CNI).

The objective of these talks is to analyze the situation and collect proposals that help Spain reduce its gas consumption, in accordance with the commitment made in the European framework.

Along these lines, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced this Thursday the reduction of VAT on gas from 21% to 5% from October until the end of the year, although the measure could be extended over time “while this such a difficult situation.”

According to the Minister of Finance and Public Function, María Jesús Montero, this reduction will mean a saving of 190 million euros for families and companies, while the Facua consumer association places the savings in a range of between five and ten euros per month, depending on consumption.

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.AUTONOMOUS UNITS

In recent days, the Government has also received proposals from the autonomous communities to reduce energy consumption in the face of a winter that seems complicated, due to a possible Russian gas cut that puts supply in Europe at risk.

These include reducing the consumption of Christmas lights, creating a public energy company, promoting self-consumption facilities and the renovation of boilers, lowering taxes or promoting green hydrogen.

In addition, it is proposed to prolong the useful life of nuclear power plants, as several opposition parties, including the PP, have been demanding in recent weeks, accelerate biomethane injection projects into the distribution network or increase the budget against poverty energetic.

CONTINGENCY PLAN

The Government wants to analyze all the proposals received before sending the final text to Brussels, in a context marked by the energy instability that Europe is suffering, with the electricity and gas markets skyrocketing, which has led the Community Executive to propose a “emergency intervention” and a structural reform of the electricity market.

For now, the EU has already managed to fill its natural gas stores to more than 80% to face the winter, a percentage that all European partners had promised to reach before November 1.

In addition, Brussels is already thinking about next winter, as Ribera requested a few days ago, and has assured this Thursday that reserves must be at 40% in March to face the 2023-2024 cold season with guarantees, a figure that represents a challenge for the EU, since last March they were below 25%.

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