Athens Electricity Forum: Progress towards creating a trading region in SEE – pace with EU energy policy developments must be kept, Divani Caravel Hotel, Kesariani, Kentrikos Tomeas Athinon, Greece

The Energy Community’s biggest annual conference on electricity took place on 31 May and 1 June in Athens. Gathering more than 120 stakeholders, the 22nd Electricity Forum stressed the need for the Energy Community to keep pace with EU energy policy developments in order not to widen the gap between Member States’ and Contracting Parties’ energy markets.

The Forum therefore urged the adoption of electricity network codes/guidelines in the Contracting Parties as well as step-wise implementation of the EU Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT). The Forum further identified the need to better prepare the legal and regulatory framework for new and emerging market functionalities, such as integration of decentralized generation, self-consumption and demand response.

The Forum welcomed enhancements in creating a trading region in South East Europe beyond the borders of the Contracting Parties. “The progress made towards development of first pilot projects for coupling the day- ahead markets of Contracting Parties and Members States is an encouraging signal”, Director Kopač underlined. In the light of lack of related progress made in Ukraine and Moldova, the Forum encouraged these countries to resume the earlier launched Secretariat’s initiative on electricity market integration.

In the Forum’s view, the reform of the Energy Community Treaty remains an indispensable prerequisite for effective energy market enhancement in the Contracting Parties as well as for their successful integration with neighbouring EU markets. The Forum thus made a strong plea for adoption of the Treaty reforms proposed by the Secretariat at the Ministerial Council in October 2017.

The event’s agenda also included a dedicated session on infrastructure. Underlining the importance of adequate infrastructure for reaching the Energy Community’s goals of sustainability, pan-European energy market integration and security of supply, the Forum deplored the lack of transposition of Regulation 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure in all Contracting Parties, except Kosovo* and urged the countries to meet their related obligations without further delay.

Source: Energy Community (Athens Forum documents).

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