Commission hails three-way electricity-market
Feb 16, 2007 euractive.com
Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs has welcomed
the move by France, Belgium and the Netherlands as
the first step towards European-wide integration of
electricity markets, as member states struggle to
agree on common energy policy.
The trilateral coupling has been in place since
21 November 2006 and has facilitated the creation
of a new Belgian power exchange, Belpex, set up in
co-operation with the Dutch power exchange APX, French
Powernext, and the three transmission system operators:
EDF-RTE, Elia and Tennet.
The coupling of electricity markets means that in
effect, respective transmission system operators,
power exchanges, and regulators work together, enabling
them to use power exchanges.
The Commission believes that a single European electricity
market will make better use of surplus electricity
capacity and resources, bring economies of scale and
lower prices. So far, the Commission reports that
the trilateral coupling has led to significantly more
efficient interconnections and a convergence in price
Further expansion of the market is envisaged towards
the northern market, the first regional market, and
then to the Iberian market. The Commission then hopes
that a European wholesale market will be created,
following market coupling with eastern Europe through
André Merlin, CEO of the electric grid operator RTE
and president of the European Energy and Transport
Forum told AFX news that collaboration is "the first
example in the EU of this kind of integration", while
Bert Den Ouden, CEO of Dutch exchange APX Group, said
that integration with Germany would be "extremely
important" as it is in "a central position and would
add a third dimension".
A Europe-wide blackout on 4 November 2006, leaving
10 million without electricity, highlighted the need
for increased interconnection between member states.
Sir John Mogg, the president of the Council of European
Energy Regulators (CEER) said that the blackout "demonstrated
the need, now more than ever, for an integrated European
electricity-grid subject to proper regulatory oversight".