Brussels, 13 October 2014
Common rules and Infrastructure needed to complete Energy Market
An integrated EU energy market is the most cost-effective way to ensure secure and affordable supplies to EU citizens and mitigate climate change. A completed internal energy market could bring net economic benefits between 16 and 40 billion euros each year. Substantial progress has been achieved to date but in order to reap full benefits more investment is needed in strategic cross-border infrastructure, and developing smart grids for electricity. Common and transparent rules on how the energy grids are used need to be put in place. These are the main points of the Communication on the challenges for completing the internal energy market released by the European Commission today.
Günther H. Oettinger, Vice-President of the EU Commission responsible for energy said: "If energy markets are well connected and common rules are in place there's not much room left to use energy supplies as a political instrument. With proper price signals and sufficient infrastructure, energy is produced where it's cheapest and sent to where it is needed. All this translates into secure energy supplies all over Europe and lower bills for consumers."
What has been achieved to date
The integration of the EU's energy markets is delivering tangible results mainly on the wholesale markets. In particular,
What still needs to be done
Further steps are required to enable the proper functioning of the internal market which allows companies to compete on an equal footing, facilitates the integration of intermittent renewable energy and through correct price signals ensures that energy is produced where it is cheapest and that the most cost-effective investment decisions are taken. For this it is crucial that:
In February 2011 the EU Heads of State declared the need to complete the internal energy market by 2014, underlining that no EU Member State should remain isolated from the European gas and electricity networks after 2015.
The 3rd energy market package (including Directives 2009/72/EC and 2009/73/EC) is the cornerstone of the integration of the gas and electricity market. It entails (i) the unbundling of networks (the separation of network activities for electricity and gas from generation, production and supply); (ii) consumer protection issues (particularly on Member States’ obligations to protect vulnerable consumers, provide transparent billing and contractual information to consumers, establish a Single point of contact and an Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism for the out-of-Court solution of disputes); and (iii) the independence of the national regulatory authorities.
For further information and documents