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Spain Sets Higher Electricity Prices After Government Auction

Spanish businesses and consumers will pay more for electricity after a government-run power auction today set higher benchmark prices.

The cost of power rose to 54.18 euros ($71.33) per megawatt-hour of electricity in the first quarter of next year, compared with 49.25 euros in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a statement from Spanish market operator Omel. This will be reflected as a three percent gain in electricity prices for consumers, Europa Press reported, citing people it didn’t identify.

“Power prices should be a reflection of what the market says, and government intervention should be minimal if not non-existent,” Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said yesterday in Madrid.

Electricity prices will solely depend on auction results for 2013, if a proposal from the Industry Ministry to freeze access charges, or the regulated half of power prices, is approved by the National Commission of Energy.

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