EU to link 17 power markets

EU

The European Union is urging the integration of all electricity markets by the end of this year, in a plan to link together the 28-nation bloc from Portugal to Finland.

Spain and Portugal are expected to join the market-coupling project today (May 13). Their connection would be made through an interconnector between Spain and France. Energy exchanges and network operators gathered for an auction today to determine power prices in northwest Europe.

Links across Europe are part of the EU’s third package of legislation seeking the removal of national barriers in power and gas trading in order to reduce energy costs. It also aims to smooth price differences between EU members, and to control cross-border flows better.

“This is the first time a market coupling arrangement has been geographically expanded,” Andrew Claxton director of business development at APX Group Holding BV told Bloomberg. “Previously this has involved implementing a whole new solution. This shows that we have a robust underlying solution that can be extended across Europe.”

Madrid-based spokesman for Iberian exchange OMIE Rafael Gomez-Elvira Gonzale told Bloomberg: “Although the interconnection level between the Iberian Peninsula and Central West Europe, through the Pyrenees, is very limited, the new mechanism ensures a proper use. Market coupling optimizes the use of existing cross-border capacities.”

Markets in Romania would be linked with Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic via the price coupling mechanism on November 11, Czech power market OTE AS said.

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