Yesterday, 3 March, saw the Third Energy Package enter into force in the EU and the date by which EU countries should have their respective versions ready for transposition to national legislation, but not one country in the EU has managed to do so on time.
Some countries are almost ready to present their blueprints to the European Commission, including Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Austria and Italy. The Third Energy Package sets out the rules for how the gas and electricity markets in the EU will function, namely to separate (unbundle) the various operators to prevent preferntial treatment on individual markets.
Member states have the choice of three alternatives:
OU – “Ownership Unbundling” – this would mean the complete unbundling of transmission and production, meaning the two responsible companies must be separate legal entities. they can both be owned by the same parent company, however.
ISO – “Independent System Operator” means that the producer can still continue to be the owner of the physical transmission infrastructure, but an independent body would be responsible for managing transmissions and for making investment decisions. A specially designated Compliance officer will oversee the operation on behalf of the state.
ITO – “Independent Transmission Operator” means that the producer owns the infrastructure and manages an autonomous independent division, which is responsible for transmissions. A specially designated Compliance officer will oversee the operation on behalf of the state.
“We are in contact with member countries and are closely monitoring their progress in this important area. we can see that some are suffering a time lag. The screening process for the transposition of directives and regulations will begin soon in the autumn of this year,” said EU Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger.
Member states then have until 3 March next year to satisfy the European Commission’s requirements in practice.