The liberalisation and integration of the energy markets have had consequences far beyond the actual economics of the energy sector itself: In the past, security of supply used to be a matter firmly in the hands of partly or wholly stateowned companies. As a consequence, there seemed no need to agree common rules to guarantee security of supply for the European Union as a whole. However, in the increasingly liberalised and competitive internal market of the European Union, there is no longer a single player which will assume overall responsibility for security of supply at regional, national or EU level. In this contest, the roles of each class of energy market participants (eg, exploration and production companies, TSOs and supply companies) and their respective contribution to a strategy for energy security need to be considered.

Another factor of energy demand management is the growing short-term focus of liberalised energy markets which contrasts with the need for long-term energy security.

In the peripheral markets of Ireland, Scandinavia, Italy, Greece and the Iberian Peninsula, a trend towards capacity insufficiency is visible at times. It is conceivable that generation inadequacy will develop in the core UCTE market9 as well, if no adequate measures are taken.

The Commission believes that the internal market will, in general terms, provide the appropriate framework to ensure security of supply in electricity.

In this context, article 5 of the Second Gas Directive, and article 4 of the Second Electricity Directive, provide that Member States are to ensure the monitoring of security of supply issues. Where Member States consider it appropriate, they may delegate this task to the relevant NRA. This monitoring brief covers: 

  • the supply/demand balance on the national market 
  • the level of expected future demand and available supplies 
  • envisaged additional capacity being planned or under construction 
  • the quality and level of maintenance of the networks 
  • measures to cover peak demand and to deal with shortfalls of one or more suppliers

The authority in charge of the monitoring exercise has to publish, by 31 July each year at the latest, a report outlining the findings resulting from the monitoring of these issues, as well as any measures taken or envisaged to address them and shall forward this report to the Commission immediately.