The Spanish government plans to ask the European Union for permission to exit the common electricity price policy and establish its own pricing mechanism, El Pais newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing an internal government document.
The document has been shared in Spain, hours before EU energy ministers are due to meet in Luxembourg to discuss electricity prices, the newspaper said.
Facing spiralling electricity prices, partly triggered by more expensive natural gas, the Spanish government has passed tax breaks, a claw-back of electricity utilities' profits and pushed for EU-wide measures such as joint natural gas purchases.
Earlier, Spain's Secretary of State for Energy said the EU electricity market must be reformed and EU countries should have the option to buy gas collectively, among other measures to tackle record-high power prices.
EU commissioner Thierry Breton said on a French radio station on Tuesday that he was not sure joint purchases as suggested by Spain would be effective, and was echoed by Luxembourg's energy minister Claude Turmes who said the proposal for EU countries to jointly buy gas would not offer a solution to the recent spike in energy prices.
Separately, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told a Paris conference on Tuesday that the European energy market needs reforming, as European countries battle with rising energy prices.
Divisions have deepened among European Union countries ahead of an emergency meeting of ministers on Tuesday on their response to a spike in energy prices, with some countries seeking a regulatory overhaul and others firmly opposed.
Countries are struggling to agree, however, on a longer term plan to cushion against fossil-fuel price swings, which Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Greece say warrant a bigger shake-up of the way EU energy markets work.