I'm quite surprised by the remark of Alberto Pototschnig, the ACER’s Director, made in the foreword to Consolidated Annual Activity Report for Year 2018 of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (14 June 2019, p. 18).

 

I have never expected such words from the head of the European Agency.

 

What exactly was said, then? Here you have a citation:

 

“With the growing number of complex and contentious decisions taken by the Agency, the number of appeals has also increased. The need to defend its decisions in front of the Board of Appeal or the General Court, or to defend the rulings of the Board of Appeal in front of the General Court, put additional strain on the Agency’s resources, especially considering that the appellants typically use law firms to litigate their cases, while the Agency cannot afford such support. However, it is undisputable that the possibility of judicial or quasi-judicial review of regulatory decision is an essential part of modern and proper regulation. The issue is rather again one of resources on the Agency’s side. However, what I find regrettable is that some of these appeals have been lodged by national regulatory authorities which had participated in forming the Agency’s decision. In fact, all the decisions appealed so far were adopted following a favourable opinion of the Board of Regulators, which is based on a large (two-third) majority of its members, who represent national regulators. Therefore, while the legal right of all those affected, including national regulatory authorities, to appeal an Agency’s decision is, again, undisputable, the very governance of the Agency, with the key role of national regulatory authorities in the decision-making process, might suggest that national regulatory authorities should accept the democratic deliberation process in the Board of Regulators, even when they dissent from it, and do not seek to overturn the Agency’s decision, to which the Board of Regulators has contributed, by resorting to the judicial review”.

 

To make a long story short: I strongly disagree with you Mr Pototschnig in this part of your statement:

 

“national regulatory authorities should accept the democratic deliberation process in the Board of Regulators, even when they dissent from it, and do not seek to overturn the Agency’s decision, to which the Board of Regulators has contributed, by resorting to the judicial review”.

 

Why? Because decisions not only need to be made by a majority of votes cast, it would be much better if they were also reasonable and just and if they are the ACER should not be afraid of the judicial review.

 

And, further, since the minority should not be bullied by others.

 

Is there any further need to deliberate this issue? I do not think so.

 

 

 

 

Although in April the focus is on the GDPR, the Electricity Directive also deserves some attention.

 

 

Charge point operators supplying electric vehicles with a charging service are final customers and do not require registration as Distribution System Operators (DSOs).

 

 

If the Winter Energy Package was adopted as proposed by the European Commission, the EU Member States, national Transmission System Operators, as well as the domestic regulatory authorities would be deprived of the decisive influence over the bidding zone's borders.

 

 

Ancillary service in the electricity market can be easily misunderstood as the capacity mechanism, notwithstanding the fact the legal effects from the State aid treatment point of view, are entirely divergent.

 

Firmness of allocated cross-zonal capacity - who will earn 9 million per hour

 

Two power plants of identical overall capacity of 120 MW each have divergent transparency obligations, depending on the capacity of their electricity generators.

 

 

For market participants with physical assets, "person responsible for operational decisions" should be "the person who is responsible for decisions relating to the running of these assets". And for market participants who don't possess such assets? 

 

ccp equivalency regime in danger

Imbalance settlement period

 

Coal-biomass co-firing plants under serious risk of returning aid due to imprecise clues.

 

 

It is probable that legislative efforts to elaborate on the two fundamental Internal Electricity Market network codes:

1) Network Code for Requirements for Grid Connection Applicable to all Generators (NC RfG), and

2) Network Code on Demand Connection (DCC)

will effect in the coming months in the adoption of regulations with European-wide binding force.

It merits noticing that both network codes impose sometimes strict technical and legal requirements on, respectively, Power Generating Modules and Demand Facilities.

 

 

Acknowledging a patchwork of existing European renewable promotion schemes may provide to the contrary, the requirements proposed in the latest version of the draft GBER Regulation propose that if a renewable electricity is supplied to the grid, the producers or where relevant aggregators should be subject to standard obligations regarding network connection and network connection charges and should bear responsibility, in financial terms, for all deviations (imbalances) between their scheduled and actual generation within a given imbalance settlement period. The said responsibility can be outsourced to other balance responsible parties, subject to commercial arrangements.

 

The key issue is also that the State aid to electricity generation from non-renewable sources and to energy infrastructures will not be exempt from the EC notification 'in view of their high distortive potential impact on the internal energy market.' Such investments will have to be notified to the European Commission to assess their compatibility with the internal market.

Bidding zones instead of borders

 

Financial energy transmission rights could fall under the category of financial instruments but  transmission system operators assert they can benefit from the “incidental” activity exemption. Are they right?

 

 

2014 has been politically set as a target for the completion of the European internal market for electricity and gas. It is useful to know the schedule for adopting the main network codes in that regard.

 

voll

 

Assuming Framework Guidelines become binding law, and the fact intermittent generation as the PV or wind sources have very low variable costs, it is probable in the future Single Electricity Market baseload fossil-fueled generation like coal and gas will gradually be squeezed out from providing balancing services.

Investment outlays engaged in these sources will probably be recovered over longer periods due to contained periods of operation of these units on the electricity balancing market. In such a situation it appears more and more questionable, whether the investors decide to engage in new sources of fossil-fuel generation.

ENTSO-E however engages in a dispute with the European energy regulator ACER over the content of the Framework Guidelines.