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Group Calls for EU Single Energy Market

wind turbines at Europoort, Landtong Rozenburg
A common European electricity market would foster greater use of renewable energy.
(cc) Frans de Wit

Two days before the first-ever EU summit on energy, twenty European companies and associations are calling on EU Heads of State to show the courage and vision to create a single market for electricity by 2015.

It 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. Today’s leaders must show similar determination in achieving a single market in electricity.

Companies already supporting the declaration include Acciona, Enercon, Enel Green Power, EON Climate & Renewables, GE Energy, Mainstream Renewable Power, PPC Renewables, RES, Siemens, SSE Renewables, Vattenfall, and Vestas.

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.

The group’s Declaration on the Single European Energy Market states:

A Europe without its single market is unthinkable. It has boosted trade, competition and prosperity in Europe, created millions of new jobs, provided wider consumer choice, and a hugely expanded market for business.

But 25 years after the signing of the Single European Act there is still no single market in electricity.

European legislation has guaranteed some choice of electricity provider, but only 5% of Europe’s electricity is traded across borders. As a consequence, competition is inefficient and allows electricity suppliers to pass any increase in the price of the coal, gas – or in the future carbon – straight onto the consumer without risk of significant loss of business. This is not acceptable.

A properly functioning European market in electricity would have many benefits:

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. An interconnected system of roads, railways, shipping and air routes throughout Europe is a precondition for maintaining Europe’s four freedoms, created by the Single European Act 25 years ago: the free movement of goods, services, capital and labour. Europe needs a fifth freedom – the free movement of electricity across borders – and effective competition and an interconnected electricity grid are key to establishing it.

25 years ago European leaders showed courage and vision by creating a single European market. Today’s leaders must show similar determination in achieving a single market in electricity, and the Heads of State have the opportunity to show such courage and vision by agreeing on 4 February to create a single market for electricity by 2015.

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