The EU has completed the overhaul of its energy policy framework, which provides the regulatory preconditions for the transition to clean energy and sets the EU on the path towards achieving its Paris Agreement commitments. The Council today adopted the four remaining files of the “Clean energy for all Europeans” package.
The new laws adopted today include a regulation and a directive on electricity which make the EU’s electricity market more interconnected, flexible and consumer-centred. The regulation on risk-preparedness in the electricity sector will ensure the security of electricity supply in crisis situations. The package also includes an overhaul of the role and functioning of ACER, the Agency for the Cooperation of Electricity Regulators.
Today’s adoption of the four files is the last step in the legislative process. They will enter into force following their publication in the Official Journal.
Electricity directive and regulation
The new regulatory framework for the EU’s electricity market aims at making it competitive, consumer-centred and more flexible. It gives more rights to consumers and facilitates their participation in the market as active customers. The ability of electricity providers to set their own prices will limit market distortion, create more competition and lower prices for consumers. Thanks to new rules on trading and balancing responsibilities, the electricity system will be able to accommodate variable electricity generation from renewable sources. Finally, the new rules also include a new framework for capacity mechanisms, with an emission limit of 550 gr CO2 of fossil-fuel origin per kWh of electricity.
Risk preparedness in the electricity sector
A new framework to prevent, prepare for and manage electricity crises will strengthen energy security across the EU. With the new regulation, member states will have to draw up risk-preparedness plans on the basis of regional and national crisis scenarios. It also provides for greater cooperation and easier assistance between member states in the event of an electricity crisis.
ACER’s role and functioning are being updated in the new regulation. This includes an overhaul of the tasks and competencies of its director and board of regulators. ACER’s supporting role in the regulatory oversight of European entities in the energy field is also being reinforced.
Background and next steps
The European Commission presented its package of proposals, dubbed the “Clean energy for all Europeans” package, in November 2016. It includes 8 legislative acts which contribute to shaping the Energy Union and fulfilling the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments. With four legislative acts having already entered into force, today’s adoption of the remaining four files completes the package.
The four files will be published in the Official Journal of the EU. They will enter into force 20 days later.