The EU4Energy Governance project undertakes to support Georgian authorities in developing an appropriate legal framework for transposition of Directive 2010/31/EU on Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD).
Albania has successfully completed the first-ever renewable energy support auction in the Energy Community. Director Janez Kopač commented: “We warmly welcome the first renewables support auction in Albania and hope that it will be followed in all Contracting Parties. Renewable energy auctions provide a competitive selection processes for granting support, resulting in lower renewable energy prices. This is a clear gain for energy consumers.”
Today’s workshop organized jointly by the Energy Community and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was able to capture the key challenges and opportunities linked with the grid integration of variable renewable energy sources, like wind or solar. The workshop identified the current and future energy trends, concluding that a complete transformation of the power sector is inevitable with the expected large-scale deployment of renewables. Coordinated early planning for a system with a higher share of renewable energy could avoid making costly investment mistakes.
Today, the Energy Community Secretariat under the EU4Energy Governance framework kicked-off a two-day workshop aimed at improving energy infrastructure planning in the six Eastern Partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The event brought together representatives of all six countries: regulators, ministries and transmission system operators.
The Energy Community Secretariat’s Annual Implementation Report, released today, underlines that the Energy Community Contracting Parties have made progress in reforming their energy sectors, but upgraded efforts are needed. This is especially important if the clean energy transition is to succeed in the Energy Community. The Report, which was revamped to provide an even more accurate snapshot of the progress achieved by the Contracting Parties, concludes that the average implementation score is at around 43%. For the first time, the report comprises all nine Energy Community Contracting Parties, including the newest member Georgia.
On 22 October, the Energy Community hosted the second meeting of the External Contact Platform (ECP), a platform developed by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) and the Energy Community Secretariat, to strengthen ENTSOG’s cooperation with non-EU gas transmission companies, including those from the Energy Community countries.
Average energy retail prices for households in the EU decreased in 2017, reflecting for the second consecutive year the decline of energy wholesale prices in preceding years, also thanks to market integration. However, the non-contestable part of the bill (network costs, taxes, levies and other charges) continued to increase. Some of the non-contestable components of the bill have supported the development of renewable energies, which are key for the EU to fulfil the objectives of the Paris agreement against climate change.
In June 2017, the European Commission opened proceedings against Transgaz, the manager and operator of the national gas transmission network in Romania, for potential breach of EU competition rules as regards the flow of natural gas from Romania to other Member States, in particular Hungary and Bulgaria (Case AT.40335 – Romanian gas interconnectors). In September 2018, Transgaz offered commitments pursuant to Article 9 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 to meet the competition concerns raised by the Commission. The commitments concern an increase of export capacities at the interconnection points with Hungary and Bulgaria, non-discrimination between export and domestic tariffs, and generally any other anti-competitive conduct. In order to test whether these commitments effectively remove the competitive concerns, the European Commission invited interested parties to submit their observations on the proposed commitments of Transgaz.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has admitted the Energy Community as an observer organization to the 24th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 24) to be held in Katowice, Poland.
The Energy Community’s Energy and Climate Committee, in cooperation with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action and the EU Regional Implementation of the Paris Agreement project, hosted a multi-stakeholder discussion on climate change under the “Talanoa Dialogue” process on 10 October in Vienna.
The second Energy and Climate Technical Working Group took place today at the Energy Community Secretariat. The revised report on an EU-convergent approach for the calculation of the 2030 targets and its findings were presented by TU Wien, Joanneum Research and REKK and discussed with Contracting Parties representatives, technical experts, the European Commission and civil society.
The Secretariat is recruiting an Electricity Expert for its Eastern Partnership Assistance Unit to support activities related to the implementation of the EU4ENERGY Governance Project. The starting date of employment is as soon as possible, preferably in December 2018.
On 27 September 2018, the Serbian parliament approved the removal of the destination clause included in the 2012 inter-governmental agreement between the government of the Republic of Serbia and the government of the Russian Federation for the supply of natural gas. This agreement provided that the gas supplied on its basis is intended for use in the Serbian market only, thereby restricting the territory to which the Serbian buyer can sell the gas. Such destination clause constitutes a violation of Energy Community competition law.
The Energy Community Secretariat launched the third edition of its Regulatory School training programme. Courses in the second half of 2018 will focus on energy market trading and functional unbundling. As a novelty, the programme also includes a special training edition for Ukraine that will focus on transparency and is organised in cooperation with USAID and DIXI Group.
Two events last week in Vienna not only beat the Energy Community participation records but established themselves among the relevant European conferences for their respective topics.
The WB6 Electricity Initiative continued with a series of meetings organised by the Energy Community Secretariat on 24-26 September in Vienna. The WB6 stakeholders were joined by representatives of all neighbouring EU Member States – Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Romania, to discuss the way forward for day-ahead market coupling, cross-border balancing and coordinated capacity calculation. Entering the final stages of preparation, all three projects are expected to be transformed into concrete contractual and governance frameworks to be implemented by all stakeholders.
Following the first three mediation rounds under the Energy Community Secretariat’s Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Centre, the mediation process between the Ukrainian gas transmission system operator, Ukrtansgaz, and the Ukrainian National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission, NEURC, has brought the first results.
On 26 September, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) officially launched the start of a new Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) for Serbia that will provide loans to households for energy efficiency improvements. The GEFF, established with the support of the Energy Community Secretariat, will help Serbia to put measures under the Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance of Buildings Directives into action.
Formally opened by Aleksandar Antic, Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia, the 10thEnergy Community Oil Forum took place on 25 September in Belgrade. The Forum stressed the importance of timely transposition of the Oil Stocks Directive in order to ensure its full implementation by the 2022 deadline. The Forum acknowledged that this would require significant efforts by the majority of Contracting Parties, which are yet to decide and legislate the most appropriate oil stockholding model. Only Serbia has transposed the Directive and started its implementation.
The Energy Community Secretariat’s Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Centre has been called upon to mediate a dispute regarding balancing issues in the Albanian hydro sector. The parties to the mediation are the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania and the privately-owned Energji Ashta hydro power plant.
The Energy Community Secretariat undertook a review of the amendments to the gas transmission tariff methodology published for consultation by the national energy regulatory authority of Ukraine, NEURC. The Secretariat broadly welcomes the proposal as another step towards increasing transparency of tariff setting, whilst reinforcing non-discrimination among system users. The great majority of proposed changes relate to tariff design and, more specifically, the number of entry and exit points and mechanisms for allocation of allowed revenue to these points.
Taking place in Ljubljana today, the 13th Energy Community Gas Forum discussed the future of natural gas in the European energy mix as well as pathways to make the internal gas market deliver the highest possible social benefit to consumers. The main implications of the Clean Energy Package for the Energy Community Contracting Parties were outlined.
The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators, ACER, and the Energy Community Regulatory Board, ECRB, organised on 21 September in Rome a joint workshop to discuss the status of the implementation of the EU Regulation on capacity allocation and congestion management. The aim of the workshop was to tighten cooperation with the national regulators of the Energy Community in this area.