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Tempus slams ‘rushed’ Capacity Market investigation

Image: European Commission.

Image: European Commission.

Tempus Energy has accused the European Commission of caving to industry pressure and rushing through its investigation into the Capacity Market, after the mechanism was cleared to be reinstated.

Yesterday the European Commission confirmed that its investigation into the Capacity Market had concluded, and ultimately cleared it of favouring certain technologies or distorting competition in the Single Market.

The Capacity Market was effectively suspended in November last year after a landmark ruling from the European Court of Justice, which found that the Commission had erred on a procedural basis in granting the mechanism state aid clearance.

That claim was brought forward by energy tech company Tempus Energy which, following yesterday’s (24 October 2019) ruling, has slammed the Commission and accused it of caving to industry pressure.

The investigation was only formally launched in February this year. Given its status, the Commission was duty bound to conclude within 18 months and it was expected to drag into next year. That the investigation was called just after six months – and around six weeks after the claimant submitted new evidence – was considered surprising by some in the industry.

In a statement, Tempus said the Commission had “rushed through a reinstatement” of the scheme that ensured the energy industry itself could continue to “rip off consumers to the tune of £1 billion a year”.

“With an excess supply margin of between 13% and 16% forecast this winter it is ludicrous to suggest consumers should be paying for subsidies to keep the lights on. The Commission has demanded multiple changes which suggests the idea that the scheme complies is a joke,” Tempus said.

Tempus’ next step is to study the judgement and determine what, if anything, it could do. It said the company would be commenting further after that review had taken place, and once it had taken stock of proposed improvements to the scheme set to come into force in the coming years.

“With multiple demonstrations around the country showing voter concern about the lack of action on climate change, reinstating a rip off scheme to support coal and diesel beggars belief,” Tempus’ statement read.

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