EU natural gas prices have gone through the roof since Russia invaded Ukraine and cut off gas flows. This has sent European electric bills soaring — to the point that Brussels is ready to intervene in energy markets to protect consumers.
Some of the ideas being thrown around are a cap on the price of Russian gas to deter President Vladimir Putin from messing with the Nord Stream 1 pipeline as pushback for sanctions; a ceiling on the price of all gas used to produce electricity; a windfall tax on all energy firms to pay for consumer subsidies; and a limit on what non-gas producers can earn beyond a market price of 200 euros per MWh.
These measures aim to curb power prices and boost gas supplies before the winter, when Europeans will need more power to heat their homes. But will they be enough to fix the bloc's energy crunch before angry, cold EU residents start blaming their governments?
We compare two benchmarks for the bloc — German spot electricity prices and Dutch gas futures — over the past year.