The government’s “dumpling” about the electricity price cap

Cleaning manufacturers are protesting against an amendment that sets the amount of their contribution to the energy crisis. The confrontation started with the government.

The boss of Veolia has to discuss a sensitive file with the Minister of Economy. Estelle Brachlianoff meets with Bruno Le Maire this Friday to discuss a government muddle that affects her group and the entire cleaning industry.

Last Thursday, the major environmental players were stunned to discover an amendment voted in the Senate that threw them into the red. The executive plans to set a price cap on incinerators for the electricity they produce, thanks to the incineration of waste, and resell. The price was set at €180/megawatt hour during the discussion of the text in the National Assembly.

A measure similar to that for the levying of excess profits from wind and solar parks: this is the contribution of companies in the sector to the energy crisis. Except that last Thursday the government submitted a new amendment to the Senate in which this ceiling was suddenly divided by three.

“It is nonsense that no one has consulted us, let himself be carried away by an industrialist. At 60 euros the price of electricity, everyone loses money due to sky-high costs”.

A final amendment proposed to rectify the situation by proposing a price of 145 euros, but the Minister of Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, surprisingly opposed it…

“He was not even aware of the subject, he was floundering, adds another industry leader. But even at 145 euros, we are just starting to make money”.

The seven manufacturers write to Elisabeth Borne

A rare union in this highly competitive sector, the seven combustion companies (Veolia, Suez, Paprec, Séché, Pizzorno, Idex and Urbaser) wrote together to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne last weekend. In their letter received by BFM Business, they point to the “lack of consultation” of this measure which “will have a strong impact on the development of the sector”. There are about a hundred incinerators in France, which provide about 1% of electricity production. “We will be needed this winter,” says one of the message’s signatories, referring to the shortage of nuclear electricity.

Manufacturers are in talks with the government and the Ministry of Energy Transition. “It’s an unfortunate ball, but it will be put right,” confides a large company in the sector. “The subject of combustion was not raised, we recognize in the cabinet of Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher. We found out after the amendments were tabled”. It is all the more embarrassing because it also affects local communities.

The mayors of France are getting involved

The incinerators belong to the municipalities that delegate management to the operators, according to the same model of water management. Part of the proceeds go to them. The letter to the government also points to the risk of “an increase in local taxes”. A ceiling that is too low would also have consequences for the tax revenues of municipalities, which could fall by several hundred million euros. It took only 24 hours for the president of the Association of Mayors of France to respond.

“In favor of the State, the government wants to limit the proceeds from the sale of energy produced by incinerating waste above €60/MWh, while the cap at European level is €180/MWh. communities at risk,” David Lisnard said on Twitter on Saturday.

At Bercy, we are trying to calm things down ahead of the rereading of the text in the National Assembly in early December, as part of the Finance Act (PFL).

“The government has provided for the deduction of income already paid to local authorities to avoid being taxed. This contribution on ‘infra-marginal rents’ is intended to capture only abnormal income generated by the production of electricity and it is not intended to improve the profitability of electricity production,” confides the cabinet of Gabriel Attal, the Minister of Public Accounts. “We have to deal with the subject almost site by site, adds the cabinet of Agnès Pannier Runacher. The ceiling of 180 euros is a bit high, but that of 60 euros a bit low…”. In the coming days, meetings will take place between the industrialists of the sector and the ministries involved.

Matthew Pechberty Journalist BFM Business

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