The overarching issue of the internal electricity market is to create a pan-European market where integration of power markets ensures efficient use of energy resources across the EU/EEA area. Prior to the third energy package (adopted in 2009), deregulation of European electricity markets had resulted in substantial variety in national designs. A common market-design approach was seen as necessary to cater for efficient cross-border trade on a European scale, and reforms to this effect was the main aim of the third package.

The market reforms in the Clean Energy package (CEP, adopted in 2016) focused on the creation of a level playing field for renewable generation. This was partly a response to market distortions created by subsidies and priority dispatch for renewable generation, and partly to the need to adapt the market design to the intermittent and less predictable generation from renewables. Moreover, several EU Member States had introduced various capacity remuneration schemes to keep existing, conventional power generation due to security of supply concerns, in addition to the energy remuneration from the markets. 

The issue discussed in the policy brief is whether the market design provisions in CEP represent a breach with the target model and the energy-only principle. Does the CEP market design reform represent the beginning of the end for the target model and the energy-only principle? 

The REMAP research project (Reform of EU Internal Energy Market Policies: Implications for the Norwegian Energy Policy Strategy) seeks to explain changes in market design by examining market developments and policy processes in the implementation phase of the Third Package. The project aims to describe, identify, and explain deviations from the target model, focusing on the policy framework for generation from renewable sources (RES), policies and regulations applying to interconnectors and trade, capacity remuneration schemes, and bidding zones and congestion management. 

The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway and industry partners, and carried out jointly by THEMA, Fridtjof Nansen Institute, and international researchers. 

For more REMAP insights and information about the project, visit the project’s home page here.