EU energy monoliths in sights
AEUROPEAN Parliament committee has approved the creation of an energy agency to help spur competition in the electricity and naturalgas market. The EU’s energy committee voted to establish an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators to oversee national authorities and transmission-system operators, advise EU regulators on market regulation and decide on cross-border issues.
The panel also backed separate proposals to facilitate energy flows by creating a ‘‘ European Network of Transmission System Operators’’ for electricity and gas whose task would be to develop codes for matters such as grid access, congestion management, interoperability and transparency.
The goal is to move Europe’s energy market to a ‘‘ stage at which competition is genuine and sustainable’’, the committee said. The full EU Parliament and national governments must still give their approval.
The EU is stepping up a push to open the 340 billion-euro ($535 billion) power and gas market to more competition. Laws in 2003 gave customers the right to choose suppliers, but the market remains fragmented by national barriers. The commission’s package focuses on proposals to break up incumbent electricity and gas companies, or remove their network- management role. This part of the draft legislation would require companies to sell their transmission networks and spin off that business, or hand over operation of the grid to an independent company. Bloomberg