The Commission has announced details of amended exemptions from the obligation to grant access to two new electricity interconnectors between the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain to third parties. Under the energy market liberalisation Directive the Commission can grant temporary exemptions to the rules that guarantee third party access, where it considers that doing so is necessary in order to make a project more attractive to investors. To ensure that the interconnectors have a positive effect on competition the Commission has requested that the Irish and British energy regulators include additional safeguards regarding future capacity allocation.
Welcoming the Commission's decision, Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs noted that "the building of these two new electric links will bring security of supply and more competition to both markets. The derogation granted today by the Commission will ensure the viability of the project while making sure that competition will be respected".