The competitiveness of energy-intensive industries in Europe is a subject of heated debate among various stakeholders at present – not least because energy prices are perceived as being higher in European countries than in many other regions worldwide. This paper aims to shed light on the discussion, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
It starts with a comparison of wholesale spot electricity prices in different EU member states and selected US power markets, performing a first assessment of different industrial energy cost structures.
This comparison is particularly relevant for energy-intensive industries, which are typically exempt from various supplemental price components, like grid tariffs and renewable energy levies. The paper then discusses the methodological difficulties associated with comparing industrial end-use prices in different countries.
Case studies serve as illustrative examples.