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Energy markets

European Parliament's committee on energy voted on electricity and gas markets

Following the vote, Claude Turmes, Vice-President and energy spokesperson of the Greens/Efa group in the European Parliament, said:

"The energy committee sent yesterday a crystal clear signal to the Commission and Member States that transmission unbundling is the most effective instrument, should we want  a real EU energy market.

The mobilisation of French and German PSE and PPE colleagues, by energy giants EDF, E.ON and RWE to defend their own financial interests before the general European interest, showed not very successful - and I was pleased to notice the isolation that the MEPs in question had in their own political groups.

Beneath unbundling for high voltage electricity and gas, the EP committee voted with an even larger majority in favour of more independent and strengthened regulators. However regulators should also, more than in the past, consider to set incentives for Transmission or Distribution System operators to favour the integration of decentralised and large scale renewables into the EU electricity and gas systems. In order to limit the market domination, the ITRE committee followed green proposals on enhancing the collaboration between regulators and cartel authorities and to give them mandates for electricity and gas release programs to limit market dominance."

The key compromises adopted by the ITRE committee on 18 June 2007 are  the following ones:

Amendment 1: Considers transmission ownership unbundling to be the most effective tool to promote investments in infrastructures in a non-discriminatory way, fair access to the grid for new entrants and transparency in the market; underlines however that this model might not address all the issues at stake such as interconnections or congestion points; (vote in favour: 29, against 11, abstention: 2)

Amendment 3: Recognises that the application of further unbundling measures for the gas sector is not straight forward; therefore urges that specific solutions will have to be developed for this sector to achieve the completion of the gas internal market, taking into account the differences between the upstream and downstream markets; (vote in favour: large majority, no check needed)

Get the non official amended report (containing ONLY the first 12 paragraphs as result of the vote on the parts related to unbundling and regulators).

Furthermore, in voting today in its plenary session the Ferreira report on competition, the European Parliament conveyed a clear message to the Commission and Member States as regards efforts to be made in the ambition of combatting cartels, especially in the energy sector. The EP insisted on giving strong priority to the completion of ownership unbundling, and to proceeding against Member States which unduly protect national energy companies.

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