Yesterday five out of the eight legislative proposals of the 2016 Clean Energy for All Europeans package have been politically agreed by the co-legislators in Brussels, which means that “Europeans will be better protected against black-outs and will ensure that all Member States put in place appropriate tools to prevent, prepare for and manage crisis situations in the supply of electricity”.
In this way, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete explained the agreement and added , “even when markets and systems function well, the risk of an emergency due to unforeseen circumstances cannot be excluded. Such situations can be managed more effectively through cross border co-ordination in a spirit of solidarity among neighbours […]. Today’s deal is another major delivery in our transition to a clean and secure energy system. Today’s electricity markets are increasingly interlinked“.
With this deal progress and momentum towards completing the Energy Union and combatting climate change are well under way. Currently there is no common approach to risk identification and assessment. According to the provisional deal, member states will be obliged to draft national risk-preparedness plans, based on a common template as requested by Parliament.
The new Regulation will provide new common methods for the identification of possible electricity crisis scenarios at national and regional levels; ensure maximum preparedness against electricity crises and effective management thereof through the preparation and publication of risk-preparedness plans by Member States developed on the basis of the electricity crisis scenarios identified; help national authorities prevent and manage crisis situations in cooperation with each other in a spirit of solidarity; set up a new framework for a more systematic monitoring of security of supply issues via the Electricity Coordination Group; and ensure that markets can work as long as possible.
After the deal was reached, rapporteur Flavio Zanonato (S&D, IT) said: “This agreement ensures that if an electricity crisis affects a member state it will be promptly resolved in cooperation with its neighbours and the Regional Coordination Centres. It establishes the solidarity principle as the real backbone of risk management, so that in the future no one will be left alone in coping with the cold spell and with sudden interruptions to electricity.”
Following this political agreement, the text of the Regulation will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators in the coming months, the Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and will immediately enter into force.
The regulation on Risk Preparedness of the electricity sector is part and parcel of the implementation of the Juncker Commission priorities to build “a resilient Energy Union and a forward-looking climate change policy“. The Commission wants the EU to lead the clean energy transition. For this reason the EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions while modernising the EU’s economy and delivering on jobs and growth for all European citizens. In doing so, the Commission is guided by three main goals: putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers. All this must be done whilst guaranteeing the security of energy supply of the EU and the resilience and stability of the system against potential threats and crises.