March 10, 2008
Earlier this month, Germany, France and six other EU member states outlined proposals for a ‘third option’ on energy liberalisation in a move aimed at preventing the break-up of vertically-integrated energy firms such as E.ON of Germany and EDF of France.In response, the UK – which together with Sweden and the Netherlands is leading the group of countries backing the Commission’s plans – submitted a paper outlining key principles to achieve “effective unbundling of electricity and gas networks”.”Ownership unbundling is the only certain way of ensuring that the incentive for discrimination is removed and remains our ultimate objective,” the paper reads, adding that the ‘third option’ proposed by France and Germany “falls short” of meeting those requirements.”Chief among these”, the paper goes on, “is the principle that the [Transmission System Operator] TSO must be truly independent from the vertically integrated company.” Among the requirements needed to achieve this, the paper notes:
- Specific obligations for TSO not to discriminate between energy producers;
- measures to remove any conflict of interest such as a prohibition for TSOs to hold interests in businesses other than transmission;
- a strict enforcement regime, and;
- clear accountability rules for TSOs.
From Eur ActivAuthor : EMI