On 13 October 2014, the European Commission (the “Commission”) issued its report entitled ‘Progress towards completing the Internal Energy Market’ (the “Report”).
The Report outlines some of the key milestones achieved to date as member states continue towards fully implementing the Third Energy Package. The Commission highlighted that market integration is in progress and is already delivering concrete results, noting in particular that:
- The EU is on track to meet its target of having 20% of energy consumption coming from renewable sources by 2020;
- Increased competition has resulted in a drop in wholesale electricity prices for the period 2008-2012 while gas prices have remained stable; and
- European countries are now better connected allowing for more cross border trade.
While the Commission praised the work of member states so far, it also emphasised that a lot more work needs to be done in order to complete the internal energy market, such as the need for:
- Further investment in strategic energy infrastructure including smart grids and interconnectors;
- A more transparent, simple and robust set of rules;
- Better harmonisation of the legal and regulatory framework across Europe;
- The adoption of further network codes;
- The addressing of the threat of uncoordinated and counter-effective national measures damaging the internal market; and
- Better cooperation between member states, regulators, transmission system operators and other key players especially on a regional basis.