The Council of Energy Ministers voted last Friday for the Regulation proposed by the Commission to cap the price of electricity for generators at €180/MWh, while using the revenues generated to support and protect final electricity consumers. UIRR calls on the Member States to declare Combined Transport as a final electricity consumer group to be offered protection and support with a view on the following:
- Door-to-door Combined Transport uses up to 70% less energy than its long-distance trucking alternative, which also saves scarce diesel fuel.
- Shifting cargo transported in trucks to intermodal freight trains eases the pressure of the truck driver shortage, which has been made worse by the war in Ukraine.
- Liquefied natural gas and liquefied hydrogen are often transported in tank containers using intermodal freight trains, whereby Combined Transport plays an important role in securing the supply of alternative energy sources to households and economic actors.
“Intermodal freight trains should be granted traction electricity at €180/MWh in every Member State. The advantages of Combined Transport to society and the European economy amply justify this demand,” declared UIRR President Ralf-Charley Schultze.
Long-distance inland freight transport in Europe is mainly conducted by trucks or through door-to-door Combined Transport, which is based on the cooperation of short-distance trucking and intermodal freight trains on the longest section of the journey. The price of diesel fuel has been successfully stabilised at the pump, resulting in an increase of 80-100% depending on the Member State. The competitive balance between long-distance trucking and its door-to-door Combined Transport alternative demands a similarly stabilised and predictable traction electricity price in every Member State.
UIRR asked already a month ago for a transparent and predictable – regulated – traction electricity price for intermodal trains. The undisrupted operation of essential Combined Transport services demands that operators know in advance the price of traction electricity used by the intermodal freight trains that they operate before the train runs. Moreover, in order to be competitive, the change of this traction electricity price should be comparable to the price change of diesel fuel, which powers the long-distance trucks.
The decision of the Energy Ministers last Friday is an important step towards securing the needed reliability, stability and a change in the price of traction electricity comparable to diesel. Therefore, UIRR and the European Combined Transport sector views it positively.