The need for a renewed European energy policy


EU LogoLondon, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — October 4, 2006 – Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition Policy, told delegates at an Ofgem seminar on Powering the Energy Debate: Europe – Competition and Regulation that an energy policy for Europe really does make sense.

Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, was the European Commission’s partner in the conference. Kroes said that the EU’s vision is of an open and competitive internal energy market, where European energy companies can compete amongst each other, diversify their sources, and trade and exchange supplies to meet demand.

She stressed, however, that: “… no-one in their right mind could say that a competitive single European energy market is already in place today.” Preliminary results of a sector enquiry into competition conditions revealed that malfunctioning in the sector was significant; too much market concentration and a “huge” lack of transparency were among the factors mentioned.

The final report of the enquiry will be presented in January 2007. “It’ll be a parallel production alongside my colleague Andris Piebalgs’ report on progress on liberalization of the energy markets,” said Kroes. “The package is intended to provide a solid basis for a constructive debate on the need for new structural and regulatory measures in this sector.”

Kroes also mentioned two areas that she believed should be the next steps in the development of a European Energy Policy. The first was transparency, and the second was for the need for further unbundling of network and supply activities, to effectively remove conflicts of interest and to create the right investment incentives.