The European energy regulators have been working together for many years to promote regional cooperation and the integration of energy markets. The Regional Initiatives (RIs), launched by the European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG) in 2006, were aimed at bringing together NRAs, TSOs and other stakeholders in a voluntary process to advance integration at the regional level as a step towards the creation of a well-functioning Internal Energy Market (IEM). The RIs represent a bottom up approach to the completion of the IEM, in the sense that they bring all market participants together to notably test solutions for cross-border issues, carry out early implementation of the EU acquis and come up with pilot-projects which can be exported from one region to the other.
There is now a common vision for the completion of the IEM in electricity by 2014: electricity markets across Europe must share a set of common features and be linked by efficient management of interconnection capacities. In order to achieve this, Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM) and Balancing have been identified as priority areas. Four clear Target Models exist for electricity market integration: three relate to CACM and one to Balancing.
With this strong common vision and these clear Target Models, ACER started applying in cooperation with all stakeholders its new vision for RIs based on a more project-oriented, pan-European approach, a strong stakeholders’ involvement and adequate governance structure.
The ERIs Coordination Group is an internal group to ACER (composed by NRAs and chaired by ACER). It not only makes sure that actions taken by NRAs are consistent but it also collects feedback from the regions and prepares regular progress reports.
This group has played a key role in gathering regional contributions in order to elaborate the four cross-regional roadmaps for the implementation of the target models for CACM.
Background on the Regional Initiatives Process
The ERGEG Regional Initiatives
Launched with the support of the European Commission (in Spring 2006), the Regional Initiatives created seven electricity and three gas regions as an interim step to complete the single energy market.
This process has been beneficial in fostering market integration and delivering improvements in market functioning. In electricity the regions improved capacity allocation and congestion management methods and increased transparency, while in gas interconnection issues, transparency and security of supply issues received attention.
All relevant material related to the ERGEG Regional Initiatives is available on the old ERGEG RI Webpage.
Nevertheless, 2014 remains an ambitious target date, which requires not only the full mobilization of stakeholders in the energy sector, but also the renewal of the national commitments in the Regional Initiatives process ready to integrate the regions into a single market area.
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ACER Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
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