Germany to help rail companies pay electricity bills
The German parliament voted to reduce the price of electricity for railways to 13 cents per kWh. According to Conor Fagan of the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA), this is significantly less than what the industry is currently paying. Railway Supply magazine writes about this with reference to RailFreight.
The support measure still needs to be approved by the European Commission, but if it is implemented, it will apply for up to 90 per cent of historical or forecast demand. “This will give certainty to railway companies in negotiating prices with their customers. Now they can plan for the future”, the industry advocate said.
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Like many sectors of the European economy, the rail sector has been hit hard by rising electricity prices as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In some cases, the cost of electricity has increased by up to 1,000 percent. ERFA has played an important role over the past year in raising the need for support on electricity prices.
We hope that the move taken by the German government will create a domino effect in the EU, Fagan continued. “In this direction, EU member states are either doing very little or worsening the situation by supporting diesel prices. Of course, there are countries that have provided some support, such as Spain, which kept electricity prices at 2021 levels.
The reason for the difference in approach is money, he explains. “The gap needs to be filled by the member states, and not each member state is equally able to do this. Some are also more exposed to the effects of the war, or less reliant on supply of energy sources from Russia.”
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