2011. 10. 03.
On 4th February 2011 the European Council took an important decision towards to the implementation of Europe's energy strategy: the Union shall create a single energy market until 2014. This decision is a historical commitment but at the same time a huge challenge for member states. The implementation of the single market creates additional tasks since it means also more interdependence. Therefore it is crucial to define a set of comprehensive rules on EU level which guarantees that wholesale energy market prices reflect a fair and competitive interplay between European supply and demand.
Prices at wholesale energy markets are key components of retail prices for households and industrial consumers.Since electricity cannot be stored on industrial scale, market prices are highly sensitive to the availability of production and transmission capacities. Therefore the energy prices can be influenced by creating misleading signals about the availability of capacities or by actual production. Europe's wholesale energy markets are increasingly interlinked across the Union. Price setting is no longer tied to individual member states, it reflects the interaction of supply and demand across national boundaries. Despite of that, current trade monitoring activities carried out by national regulators are focusing on national markets which do not provide sufficient information to detect cross-border market manipulation. Therefore the establishment of a strong European market monitoring regime is essential for the completion of a fully functioning, interconnected and integrated single energy market.
In order to fill this regulatory gap, the Regulation on the Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT) aims at establishing a Union-wide monitoring regime in order to monitor wholesale natural gas and electricity trades. The purpose of the Regulation is to enhance transparency and prevent market abuse especially in cases of cross-border trading transactions. The monitoring activity will be exercised by the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) which shall be responsible for data collection, trade monitoring and coordination of potential actions of the Member States. National regulatory authorities shall have access to ACER's database and will carry out investigation and proper enforcement. Due to the specific characteristics of CO2 emissions, the monitoring of the Emission Trading System (ETS) is not included in the scope of this Regulation, however access to emissions trading data shall be ensured in order to prevent cross-commodity manipulations. The Regulation takes a significant step towards the creation of a single European energy market by establishing a database of wholesale trading transactions and creating a European register for energy traders. This also pertains to countries where no licensing scheme exists.
The European Parliament and the Council have reached an informal first reading agreement during the Hungarian Presidency. This agreement has been adopted on 14th September 2011 by the European Parliament. Following the adoption of the regulation ACER needs to improve its human and IT resources in order to be able to cope with the extended scope coming from the new legislation. Parallel to this the European Commission shall elaborate the exact method and form of reporting taking into consideration the results of the future consultation with stakeholders. After the most appropriate reporting methodology is selected, market players have six months for setting up a working reporting system.