What is Brussels’ obsession with the 2014 timeline?
Some time ago EU Heads of State agreed that the completion of the internal energy market in Europe would be ‘by 2014’. Big political ambition, but no generally agreed definition of what this might mean - except perhaps the entry into force of some (definitely not all) of the long list of electricity and gas operational and market codes listed in the third energy package. But as we can see from the European Regulators recent call for ENTSO-E to do more work on the draft electricity connection code for generators, writing technical codes applicable to networks across Europe was never going to be an easy job.
Of course as far the Brussels institutions are concerned 2014 is an important year, what you could call a natural end date for the current batch of Parliamentarians and senior Commission officials, with a new intake of MEPs, and new set of Commissioners appointed by the middle of the year.
The long awaited Internal Market Communication i.e. policy document from the Commission is expected to be published on 15 November. We expect the Commission to set out it’s thinking in a number of areas, of key importance to ENA being the future development of smart grids. And no doubt the 2014 mantra will be repeated, but probably moved to ‘the end of 2014’.
The UK networks strongly support ambitions for the completion of the European internal market as soon as practical. We already have a functioning internal energy market with a comprehensive set of network codes in place.
It would seem that 2014 as the end date for the completion of the pan European energy market is looking increasingly arbitrary and unrealistic. Perhaps Brussels should either change the date, or formulate a more realistic definition of what they think can be achieved in the time left?