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Security of Electricity Supply – An Investigation of National Measures Aimed at Ensuring a Secure Supply of Electricity and their Compatibility with EU Law

Zulj, Zdravka LU (2011) JURM01 20111
Department of Law
Abstract
Energy policy is a policy area of great significance for the Member States and for the EU. An integral part of every energy policy is the need to ensure a secure supply of electricity. At EU-level, the challenges to security of supply are to be managed via a coherent and coordinated approach aimed at taking into account the interest of the Union. Demand management, the further integration of the internal market in energy leading to increased trade between the Member States and a common definition of the notion of security of supply are all elements of such a coherent approach. In addition, several pieces of legislation have been adopted specifying a number of measures Member States can or should implement in order to safeguard a secure... (More)
Energy policy is a policy area of great significance for the Member States and for the EU. An integral part of every energy policy is the need to ensure a secure supply of electricity. At EU-level, the challenges to security of supply are to be managed via a coherent and coordinated approach aimed at taking into account the interest of the Union. Demand management, the further integration of the internal market in energy leading to increased trade between the Member States and a common definition of the notion of security of supply are all elements of such a coherent approach. In addition, several pieces of legislation have been adopted specifying a number of measures Member States can or should implement in order to safeguard a secure supply of electricity.

However, the scope of action of the Member States is restricted by the EU State aid regime, aimed at safeguarding competition on the internal market by preventing excessive interference by the Member States in the electricity market. One purpose of this thesis has therefore been to investigate the restrictions EU State aid control puts on the Member States’ scope of action when implementing measures to ensure security of supply. Another purpose has been to investigate whether the measures envisaged by the Member States contribute to realizing the EU approach to security of supply or whether the national measures in fact hinder the objectives of the EU approach.

By analyzing four Commission Decisions on State aid, I have been able to investigate the reasoning of the Commission when it comes to determining whether a specific measure aimed at ensuring security of supply constitutes State aid, and whether this State aid can be justified. My conclusion is that the State measures notified are found compatible with the State aid regime, either on the ground that the notified measure does not constitute State aid, or that the measure indeed constitute State aid but that this State aid can be justified.

The consequence of the Commission finding the Member State measures compatible with the internal market is that the national notion of security of supply is reinforced. The measures notified to the Commission cement the borders of the national electricity markets and limit the trade between the Member States. Therefore in practice the success of the EU approach to security of supply is impeded. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Energipolitik har varit och är fortfarande av stor betydelse både för Medlemsstaterna och för EU. Behovet av att trygga en säker och pålitlig energiförsörjning är en central aspekt av en gemensam energipolitik. De senaste decennierna har det på EU-nivå pågått ett arbete att utveckla en enhetlig och samordnad strategi ämnad att trygga en säker elförsörjning inom EU. Några viktiga aspekter i EU:s strategi utgörs av åtgärder ämnade att balansera utbud och efterfrågan, fortsatt integration av den inre marknaden vilket skulle leda till ökad handel mellan Medlemsstaterna, samt ett uttalat behov att på EU-nivå definiera begreppet ”försörjningsstrygghet”. En sådan gemensam definition skulle bidra till möjligheten att framgångsrikt uppnå de mål... (More)
Energipolitik har varit och är fortfarande av stor betydelse både för Medlemsstaterna och för EU. Behovet av att trygga en säker och pålitlig energiförsörjning är en central aspekt av en gemensam energipolitik. De senaste decennierna har det på EU-nivå pågått ett arbete att utveckla en enhetlig och samordnad strategi ämnad att trygga en säker elförsörjning inom EU. Några viktiga aspekter i EU:s strategi utgörs av åtgärder ämnade att balansera utbud och efterfrågan, fortsatt integration av den inre marknaden vilket skulle leda till ökad handel mellan Medlemsstaterna, samt ett uttalat behov att på EU-nivå definiera begreppet ”försörjningsstrygghet”. En sådan gemensam definition skulle bidra till möjligheten att framgångsrikt uppnå de mål EU:s strategi ställer upp. Förutom ovan nämnda aspekter förekommer i EU-direktiv bestämmelser vilka specificerar ett antal åtgärder som Medlemsstaterna bör, alternativt måste vidta, i syfte att säkerställa en trygg elförsörjning.
Medlemsstaternas handlingsutrymme begränsas dock av EU:s regler gällande statligt stöd. Detta regelverk syftar till att bevara konkurrensen genom att förhindra statliga åtgärder vilka kan ha en negativ effekt på konkurrensen på den gemensamma elmarknaden. Ett syfte med detta examensarbete har varit att undersöka hur Medlemsstaternas handlingsutrymme begränsas av de restriktioner EU:s regler om statligt stöd ställer upp. Ett annat syfte har varit att undersöka huruvida de åtgärder Medlemsstaterna har vidtagit för att trygga en säker elförsörjning bidrar till att förverkliga målen i EU:s gemensamma strategi, eller om Medlemsstaternas åtgärder i själva verket hindrar uppnåendet av EU:s mål.
Genom att analysera fyra beslut från Kommissionen gällande statligt stöd har jag kunnat undersöka de villkor Kommissionen ställer upp för att en åtgärd ämnad att trygga en säker elförsörjning skall anses falla utanför bestämmelsen om förbud av statligt stöd, antigen genom att åtgärden i fråga inte anses utgöra statligt stöd, eller att åtgärden i fråga visserligen anses utgöra statligt stöd, men kan anses berättigad och därför förenlig med den inre marknaden.
Mina slutsatser är följande. Kommissionen finner i alla fyra beslut att de vidtagna åtgärderna är förenliga med den inre marknaden. En analys av besluten visar att föreslagna åtgärder enbart ser till Medlemsstaternas nationella intressen. Detta befäster gränserna kring de nationella elmarknaderna, hindrar integrationen av den inre marknaden och hindrar handel av elektricitet mellan Medlemsstaterna. I korthet kan därför sägas att Kommissionens praxis i praktiken hindrar framgången av EU:s strategi för försörjningstrygghet. (Less)
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author
Zulj, Zdravka LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20111
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
language
English
id
1981372
date added to LUP
2011-08-18 09:21:15
date last changed
2011-08-18 09:21:15
@misc{1981372,
  abstract     = {Energy policy is a policy area of great significance for the Member States and for the EU. An integral part of every energy policy is the need to ensure a secure supply of electricity. At EU-level, the challenges to security of supply are to be managed via a coherent and coordinated approach aimed at taking into account the interest of the Union. Demand management, the further integration of the internal market in energy leading to increased trade between the Member States and a common definition of the notion of security of supply are all elements of such a coherent approach. In addition, several pieces of legislation have been adopted specifying a number of measures Member States can or should implement in order to safeguard a secure supply of electricity.

However, the scope of action of the Member States is restricted by the EU State aid regime, aimed at safeguarding competition on the internal market by preventing excessive interference by the Member States in the electricity market. One purpose of this thesis has therefore been to investigate the restrictions EU State aid control puts on the Member States’ scope of action when implementing measures to ensure security of supply. Another purpose has been to investigate whether the measures envisaged by the Member States contribute to realizing the EU approach to security of supply or whether the national measures in fact hinder the objectives of the EU approach.

By analyzing four Commission Decisions on State aid, I have been able to investigate the reasoning of the Commission when it comes to determining whether a specific measure aimed at ensuring security of supply constitutes State aid, and whether this State aid can be justified. My conclusion is that the State measures notified are found compatible with the State aid regime, either on the ground that the notified measure does not constitute State aid, or that the measure indeed constitute State aid but that this State aid can be justified.

The consequence of the Commission finding the Member State measures compatible with the internal market is that the national notion of security of supply is reinforced. The measures notified to the Commission cement the borders of the national electricity markets and limit the trade between the Member States. Therefore in practice the success of the EU approach to security of supply is impeded.},
  author       = {Zulj, Zdravka},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Security of Electricity Supply – An Investigation of National Measures Aimed at Ensuring a Secure Supply of Electricity and their Compatibility with EU Law},
  year         = {2011},
}