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Interconnector Investment for a Well-Functioning Internal Market: What EU regime of regulatory incentives? Bruges European Economic Research (BEER) Papers 18/October 2010

Kapff, Lionel and Pelkmans, Jacques (2010) Interconnector Investment for a Well-Functioning Internal Market: What EU regime of regulatory incentives? Bruges European Economic Research (BEER) Papers 18/October 2010. [Policy Paper]

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    Sufficient cross‐border electricity transmission infrastructure is a pre‐requisite for a functioning European internal market for electricity. Also, the achievement of the EU’s energy policy objectives – sustainability, competitiveness and security of supply – critically depends on adequate investment in physical interconnections between the member states. Mainly focusing on the “regulatory path”, this paper assesses different ways to achieve a sufficient level of interconnector investment. In a first step, economic analysis identifies numerous impediments to interconnector investment adding up to an “interconnector investment failure”. Reflecting on the proper regulatory design of an EU framework able to overcome the interconnector investment failure, a number of recommendations are put forward:  All congestion rents should be channeled into interconnector building. Unused rents should be transferred to a European interconnector fund supervised by an EU agency.  Even though inherently sub‐optimal, merchant transmission investment can be used as a means to put pressure on regulated transmission system operators (TSO) that do not deliver. An EU agency should have exclusive competence on merchant interconnector exemptions.  A European TSO organization should be entrusted with supra‐national network planning, supervised by an EU agency.  The agency should decide on investment cost reallocation for interconnector projects that yield strong externalities. Payments could be settled via a European interconnector fund.  In case of non‐compliance with the supra‐national network plan, the EU agency should have the right to organize a tender – financed by the European interconnector fund – in order to get the “missing link” built. Assessing the existing EU regulatory framework, the efforts of the 2009 “third energy package” to fill the “regulatory gap” with new EU bodies – ACER and ENTSO‐E – are acknowledged. However, striking holes in regulatory framework are spotted, notably with regard to the use of congestion rents, interconnector cost allocation, and the distribution of decision making powers on new infrastructure exemptions A discussion of the TEN‐E interconnector funding scheme shows that massive funding can be an interim solution to the problem of insufficient interconnection capacities while overcoming the political deadlock on sensible regulatory topics such as interconnector cost allocation. The paper ends with policy recommendations.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Uncontrolled Keywords: cross‐border electricity transmission infrastructure, interconnection, internal electricity market, investment incentives, third energy package
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > energy policy (Including international arena)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > College of Europe (Brugge) > Bruges European Economic Research Papers (BEER)
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2014 15:22
    Number of Pages: 41
    Last Modified: 18 Dec 2014 15:22

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