Regional energy markets picking up steam

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The ten initiatives for regional gas and electricity markets, launched in spring 2006, have identified priorities and are shortly to be moved into their implementation phase.

“There is already evidence of enhanced energy-market integration in the regions,” said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, launching the progress report on the initiatives to create regional energy markets (REMs). Seven regional electricity and three gas markets were launched in early 2006 as a first step towards a single EU energy market.

The report, published on 28 March 2007, argues that progress has been made in stakeholder commitment and that the REMs have now identified their priorities and developed action plans. For gas markets, the priorities identified include interconnectors, transparency and the development on gas trading hubs, whereas the electricity stakeholders have agreed to work on congestion management, transparency and balancing market integration.

As to concrete results so far, the report highlights the establishment of a ‘tri-market coupling’ between Belgium, France and Netherlands in November 2006. This links three major electricity markets, which, according to the report, account for 25% of the EU’s electricity production. 

The next step for all REMs is to move from development to implementation and to deliver on the agreed action plans designed to remove barriers to trade and facilitate market integration.

The regional energy initiatives were launched by the European Regulators’ Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG), a Commission advisory group assisting the EU executive in integrating fragmented national energy markets to create an EU internal market for electricity and gas.

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