February 25, 2008
EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs told MEPs during a 31 January hearing in the Parliament’s ITRE Committee that “few proposals have been assessed as well” as the Commission’s third liberalisation package, and the Commissioner remains “convinced” that full unbundling or the ISO option remain “the best solutions”. The Commission will examine the Franco-German proposal “very carefully”, Piebalgs said, but warned that if the options put forward do not fulfill the criteria for TSO independence, the Commission will not be in a position to consider the proposals as a “credible alternative”.Matthias Kurth, Chairman of the German Bundesnetzagentur (a federal agency that oversees the liberalisation of the country’s grids), supported his government’s proposals during the same hearing, saying they would lead to “more effective and enforceable legislation without a lot of bureaucracy”. Kurth also argued that he hears “no more complaints anymore” about blocked grid access, adding that large German firms are trying to expand key infrastructures but are being blocked because of serious delays in issuing building permits. He claimed that unbundling would not address this issue.But Green MEP Claude Turmes, a staunch proponent of unbundling, countered Kurth’s argument, saying that
Germany’s large energy firms are being denied building permits because of public opposition. The firms, such as E.ON and RWE, are no longer seen as operating in the public interest, Turmes said.Paolo Scaroni, CEO of Italy’s energy giant ENI, said his company supports France and
Germany. “We will present our views later, but already now we can say that we welcome the Franco-German proposal”, he said during the hearing.Jorge Vasconcelos of the Portuguese firm New Energy Solutions argued that ownership unbundling “does not go far enough”, and called for more market monitoring to ensure fair play.Christian Democrat MEP Alejo Vidal-Quadras, the Parliament’s rapporteur on the electricity network regulation, argued that the third option should be “taken into consideration” since it goes potentially further than previous EU provisions on legal unbundling.
From Eur ActivAuthor : EMI