23 Apr 2019, 13:46
Kerstine Appunn

“Europe’s common energy market is an open-ended experiment”


Despite EU Commissioner Maros Sefcovic announcing this month that the European energy union has become reality, unifying Europe’s big energy markets is more an “agonising process than a rapid success story”, Eva Fischer and Klaus Stratmann write for Handelsblatt. They say Germany’s plan to give up coal power in the 2030s is a unilateral decision that will affect the country’s neighbours. Nine of the 11 countries connected to Germany’s power grid -- so-called electrical neighbours -- are also pursuing coal exit strategies, and all doing so at once could threaten supply security, the authors argue.

As part of the Energy Union, the common European electricity market is supposed to establish as many interconnections and as much cross-border capacity as possible, so that individual EU member don’t have to generate enough power to cover their own peak demand at all times. But bottlenecks in Germany’s internal power grid, the phase-out of nuclear power and the growth of fluctuating renewable power have all led to difficulties with the country’s electrical neighbours.

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