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EU Energy Policy:
Security of Electricity Supply
Updated: June 2010
On June 10-11 2004, the EU energy ministers discussed the four proposals in the energy package but only on the gas directive was reached a common position . For the guidelines of trans-European networks, the ministers reached "agreement on a general approach on the operative part" of the guidelines, but they have to discuss the issue again after getting the comments from the Parliament.
December 10, 2003, the EU Commission proposed four measures for
energy infrastructure and security of supply. Although, formally, this
result of the debate on the EU Green Paper for Security of Supply, actually,
it appears to be a quick response to the black-outs and shortages of
electric power this summer. The proposal includes:
to Safeguard and Security of Electricity Supply and Electricity Infrastructure
The Directive oblige the EU countries to ensure a high level of security of electricity supply by setting up a stable investment climate and by defining the roles and responsibilities of the various authorities. For operational network security, the Directive specifies that the countries must ensure that the transmission system operators set minimum operational rules and obligations on network security. In turn, the distribution system operators are expected to comply with these rules. In particular, the countries shall ensure that interconnected transmission and distribution system operators exchange information relating to the operation of networks.
For maintaining a balance between supply and demand, the EU countries must take appropriate measures to maintain a balance between the demand for electricity and the availability of generation capacity. This shall be done by encouraging the establishment of a wholesale market framework that provides suitable price signals for generation and consumption and by requiring transmission system operators to ensure that an appropriate level of generation reserve capacity is available for balancing purposes and/or to adopt equivalent market based measures.
The Directive states that the countries may take additional measures:
Regarding network investment the Directive obliges the EU countries to establish a regulatory framework that provides investment signals for both the transmission and distribution system network operators to develop their networks in such a way that they can meet foreseeable demand and that facilitates maintenance as well as the renewal of their networks. Merchant investments in interconnections should be allowed. However, any such investment must be taken in close co-operation between the relevant transmission system operators.
To complement the provisions of the Directive, specific reporting procedures are specified.
The EU countries must bring into force all the necessary provisions by 24 February 2008. By, 1 December 2007, the Member States must inform the Commission of the text of the national laws they will adopt to implement this Directive.
The national provisions for investments in power production and transmission infrastructure must not threaten to bypass Environmental Impact Analysis and public consultations for the infrastructure projects.
The proposal of merchant investments in interconnections must not lead to extra high profit rate for construction of interconnectors. There is not need and no benefits in favouring such supply-side initiatives over demand-side measures of local, renewable supply.
The proposal does not address the problem that new transmission lines also can promote import of power produced on sub-standard power plants including unsafe nuclear power plants. Such import is distorting the market and cannot be relied upon to increase security of supply.
The directives provisions for inclusion of energy conservation measures should be included in national implementation of the directive.
Read the proposals progress in Parliament (enter above reference)
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