Casting an eye on the EU’s electricity market and its long-term goals

(EurActiv, 29 Apr 2022) In order for the EU to become more energy independent, member states will need to become more inter-dependent, argues Christian Zinglersen.

Christian Zinglersen is the director of the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

Today, the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) publishes its assessment of the EU’s wholesale electricity market design.

Tasked by the European Commission back in October to provide views on whether EU electricity markets are fit for purpose, circumstances since have changed dramatically. European energy policy has turned upside down, escalated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Record-high energy prices are severely impacting households, businesses and the economic recovery. The situation has revealed levels of energy vulnerability that one would have thought unacceptable.

In turn, EU-wide energy independence has become an aspiration for many government leaders.

Whilst the energy transition is heralded as the great accelerator, it takes time. Hence, EU policymakers have entered a more immediate era of near-term issues and trade-offs.

Some governments are looking to restart mothballed coal-fired power plants. Others are revisiting gas infrastructure needs. A few have even suggested to cap wholesale electricity prices, an extreme intervention in most market economies.

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EurActiv, 29 Apr 2022: Casting an eye on the EU’s electricity market and its long-term goals