07 Feb 2011 12:02:33
Industry calls for one European market
Twenty European companies—including Siemens, SSE Renewables, Vattenfall and Vestas—are calling on EU heads of state to show the courage and vision to create a single market for electricity by 2015.
The companies, along with a host of associations, emphasise that 25 years after the signing of the Single European Act, there is still no single market in electricity. Acciona, Enercon, Enel Green Power, EON Climate & Renewables, GE Energy, Mainstream Renewable Power, PPC Renewables and RES are among the companies that signed the declaration.
The declaration for a single European energy market comes just a few days before the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Single European Act on 17 February 1986, and reminds leaders attending the summit that 25 years ago European heads of state showed courage and vision by creating a single European market.
While European legislation guarantees choice of electricity provider, only 5% of Europe's electricity is currently traded across borders. It has been recommended that in order to achieve a single market in electricity, Europe needs both the infrastructure to transport electricity from one part of Europe to another, and a common set of market rules.
A properly functioning European market in electricity would have many benefits, such as:
• Increased competition leading, in the long-term, to reduced electricity prices
• Improved security of supply (and reduced risk of blackouts)
• Reaping the full advantages of fuel-free, pollution-free renewable energy sourcesproduced in ever greater quantities in many parts of Europe
• Opportunities for increased trade in electricity regardless of the source
Associations already supporting the declaration include European Biomass Association (AEBIOM); European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC); the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA); the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC); the European Solar Thermal Electricity Association (ESTELA); European Biomass Industry Association (EUBIA); European Wind Energy Association (EWEA); and the Friends of the Supergrid.