The Commission gets tough on Internal Energy Market

Timetables for the phase out of regulated prices and opposition to capacity payments are two of the most significant proposals in the European Commission’s Communication on the Internal Energy market, says the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC).

Brussels. 15th November 2012. EREC also sees the Commission’s commitment to take infringement procedures against Member States who fail to implement the internal energy market as important and urgent, but a little late.

“Action is urgent because the EU has committed to, but will not achieve, a single energy market by 2014” said Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, President of EREC. “In eight member states today, more than 80% of power generation is still in the hands of the historic incumbent. The market is not open to newcomers.”

“The Commission’s insistence on phase-out timetables for regulated prices will encourage investment, as they are perceived as political interference by investors”, said Hinrichs-Rahlwes, “as well as reducing consumer choice on the retail market.” The Commission’s decision to “empower consumers to take an active role and fully exercise their rights and choices” is also an important step forward. However, the communication neglects the critical role of ‘prosumers’ – people who produce and consume or store their own electricity – in Europe’s energy future.

In addition, EREC is concerned about the Commission's plans to question and "regularly" review renewable energy support mechanisms, as permanent discussions will undermine investor confidence and might put target achievement at risk.

“The Commission is correct in opposing capacity mechanisms, which, when they attempt to influence the volume of electricity generation actually constitute a subsidy for fossil fuel and nuclear generation and a disincentive to invest in badly needed interconnection capacity, as well as demand-side measures and storage capacity," stressed Hinrichs-Rahlwes.
European Renewable Energy Council - EREC
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