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Regional energy markets one step closer to reality

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E3G welcomes the outcome of Informal Energy Council in Riga on 16 April. Eamon Ryan, Senior Associate of E3G and former Irish Energy Minister, said today:

“The informal meeting of EU Energy Ministers appears to have made real progress in the planning of new regional structures and deepening existing ones to integrate electricity and gas markets. Delivering on these plans is essential if Europe is move to the next phase of a transition to a low carbon economy and to reduce the cost for energy consumers and increase the security of our energy supplies.”

In the press conference following the meeting the Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete stated:

“We want to build further on the success of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection plan in other areas, for example the Central South East gas connectivity high level group, the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative, and the high level group for South West Europe in the Iberian peninsula, as established following the Madrid declaration.”

He pledged further that the Commission

“will work with Member states to set up regional operator centres for Transmission System Operators to plan and manage cross border electricity and gas flows."

The task for the Commission is now to turn the broad support that the Energy Union proposals has received at the European Council and this meeting of Energy Ministers into specific action plans that turn aspirations into reality. It will not be easy to overcome the tendency of Member States and national energy agencies to look for national rather than cross-border, regional solutions to the energy pricing and security problems we face.

Eamon Ryan concluded,

“the next year will show whether the Commission can deliver the necessary legal agreements, financing arrangements and market reforms to make it happen. The meeting yesterday shows that there are no immediate political red lines that should stop this vital work”

For media enquiries please contact Eamon Ryan on +35 386 3886529

Further reading

Delivering the North Seas Grid: Towards a Regional Free Trade Zone of Electricity

Letter to Energy Ministers: North Seas Offshore Grid and Europe’s Energy Union

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