The talks between Hungarian PM Viktor Orban and Slovak PM Iveta Radicova at the end of January dealt also with the possibility of connecting up the electricity grids of both countries, and now the practical aspects are starting to take shape.
Today the electricity transmission operators, involved companies and national regulators of all three countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with completion of the interconnection planned for next year. This means the Hungarian power market will be linked directly to the Slovak and Czech ones, which have been interconnected since 2009.
The move is part of the log term pan-European effort to establish a single electricity market in the countries of the EU27, and will see the application also of a single price method.
Head of Slovak regulatory authority URSO, Miroslav Luptak, explained how the Memorandum is the logical step before joining the Central Western European market coupling (CWE), which includes also Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
This interconnection of the short-term electricity markets should produce greater competition and so lead to lower and more stable prices for end consumers, with other advantages including greater scope for solidarity in the event of an energy crisis.
The next task falls to Hungary’s HUPX power exchange, which has 45 days to produce a framework plan on how Hungary will link to the Czech and Slovak markets. The whole process should be completed by the middle of next year and will provide traders with the chance to operate on an integrated market instead of having to act separately on individual national ones.